Laois manager John Sugrue on the sideline at Croke Park on Sunday. Photo: Paul Dargan
Meath were far more efficient than Laois in front of goal in Sunday's Leinster Championship semi-final at Croke Park, and it cost them.
“We had two very good chances probably in the second half. (Colm) Murphy cut in along the end line well, and had a good shot, just came back off the crossbar and then we had one other one.
“Meath had a goal from a penalty that was a speculative enough oul’ shot, and it turns into a goal out of very little. Now saying that we didn’t deal with that ball very well. They’re the margins you’re dealing with.”
Laois had the lions share of possession in the opening quarter of the game, but failed to score in that time frame.
“We were a little bit toothless with the ball and just lacked a bit of penetration. Meath were well set up tactically well, but saying that we certainly could’ve and should’ve been a lot better than that in that phase.”
Evan O’Carroll was surprisingly taken off early in the first half with no injury concerns.
“It’s on any given day you get a flow of play or you don’t get a flow of play. There’s lots of us who probably didn’t find the gear today that we found the last day, so it’s not singling out to any one player.”
Laois conceded a penalty goal which came at the very end of the first half.
“I felt at that stage we had battled well, despite not playing well, we had battled well enough to keep ourselves within two. Then the penalty came out of nothing really. Next thing you wind up with a goal happening out of nowhere.”
Laois began the second half well, but faded badly after Meath got a run of it.
“We seemed to be clawing it back to three and next thing all of a sudden we’d chances to score I’d say in the region of 1-2 and we didn’t execute. Look, it’s disappointing. They put a bit of space between us in the second half. They played some nice football in the last fifteen or twenty minutes there.”
Eleven points was the difference between the teams in the end:
“We can’t hide from that now. We’ve got to take it on the chin and try and get ourselves back to the training ground.”
Sugrue will now be looking for a response from his squad.
“When you step up a few gears here you get to learn where you are in the grand scheme of things.
“Meath today have proven better than us and we’ve got to go to see what we can do through the qualifiers.”