Meath football has been rocked by the emigration of star full forward Joe Sheridan to the U.S.
The Seneschalstown star played in Sunday’s NFL defeat away to Galway, then flew out of Dublin on Monday.
Construction worker Sheridan turned down a job offer organized by the Meath County Board to start a new life in Boston.
“After a lot of thought I have decided to emigrate to take up an opportunity I simply could not refuse. I finalized my decision to travel on Friday last,” said Sheridan, scorer of a controversial goal in the 2010 Leinster final.
“I would like to thank the Meath senior football team management and the Meath county board who worked hard to secure employment for me, but I feel that this opportunity abroad is something I need to do.”
Meath boss Seamus McEnaney insists he had no issues with Sheridan and revealed the door will be left open if he wants to return to the squad this summer.
“Joe’s a real good fella, a very likeable lad,” said McEnaney. “I’ve not had a problem with him for the 16 months I’ve been here.
“We secured employment for him but Joe felt this was an opportunity he couldn’t resist to travel abroad. Joe has made up his mind and I fully respect his decision. There’s no getting away that he is a loss to Meath football.
“Sometimes when one door closes another opens, and that’s what we’d be hoping for. You’d hope that he’d be back in a few weeks’ time or a month, but we wouldn’t be holding out any hope of that.
“It would be a case of he’s gone for the foreseeable future as far as we’re concerned at the moment.”
CORK survived a late Dublin rally to take the National League points in Croke Park on Sunday and put a smile on the face of manager Jimmy Barry Murphy.
“I’m delighted because Dublin really put it up to us in the second half,” he said after the 2-18 to 2-17 victory.
“The first half wasn’t exciting but it caught fire in the second-half. Dublin threatened to pull away and I was delighted with our response.
“The substitutions worked well. William Egan and Darren Sweetnam were outstanding when he came in and Lorcan McLoughlin did very well too. We were four points behind and our response was excellent and that’s the most encouraging thing.”
Paul Ryan was narrowly wide with a late, late free that could have rescued a draw for Dublin.
“It was difficult, but I thought he would point it,” added Barry Murphy.
“He’s an excellent free-taker but it was a difficult angle, in fairness. I was well pleased to see it going wide, I wouldn’t have had any cribs with a draw at that stage.”
Dublin boss Anthony Daly was happy with everything bar the result as his team ran Cork close.
“It is hard to sum it up. It was one of those ones that was up and down. We looked like we had it. We really felt at half-time that we were fortunate to be within two points even though we had the two best goal chances,” said Daly after the one point loss.
KERRY manager Jack O’Connor expressed delight at the form of his new players after Sunday’s emphatic league win over Donegal in Killarney.
O’Connor told RTÉ, “I’m delighted with the attitude the lads showed out there. We worked very hard and that was key going into the game.
“Since the Armagh game we have definitely upped the ante a bit and demanded that a lot of the lads in there responded pretty well.
“We’re happy with being top of the league but our main aim going into the league was not so much to try and win it but to try to discover a few players.
“We have had five young lads who have settled really well into the panel and into the team in Peter Crowley, Brian Maguire, Patrick Curtin, Barry John Keane and James O’Donoghue, who unfortunately got injured that last week.
“That is a great bonus for us because it really strengthens our hand going into the summer.”
Donegal boss Jim McGuinness felt his side paid Kerry too much respect. “It is the first time it has happened to us in the last two years and we’ve got to take it on the chin, we weren’t 100% and Kerry were,” he said.
KILDARE boss Kieran McGeeney has lashed out at the failure of the GAA to ratify Seanie Johnston’s transfer from Cavan.
Johnston has told Croke Park officials that he is now resident in Straffan and ready to play for the Lilywhites but his proposed move has stalled again.
“It’s an appeal now,” said McGeeney after the league win at home to Derry on Sunday. “The appeals thing usually gives the same decision as Croke Park. The DRA at least is an independent body.
“People have their own opinion about it but he’s given enough things. It’s enough for the police, it’s enough for the banks, it’s enough for everybody else but not for the GAA.
“It’s their call. The fella just wants to play football. It’s very frustrating for him. It’s a wonder now because they didn’t look as close at a lot of other transfers between club and county around the country this year.”
McGeeney was also delighted to see Dermot Earley and Mikey Conway return in Sunday’s win after their recent cruciate ligament injuries.
“Both Dermot and Mikey Conway have come back from the injury. I did the cruciate once but to do it twice and be out of football for two years and be able to walk out on the pitch is an incredible achievement,” he added.
“I don’t think people out there appreciate what Dermot, and especially Mikey, did to get out on the field.”
DUBLIN hammered Armagh in the National Football League in Croke Park on Sunday but manager Pat Gilroy refused to get over-excited by the result against an under-strength Ulster side.
“It’s hard enough on Armagh when they are without the Crossmaglen boys ahead of the club final,” said Gilroy.
“They had a couple of key players injured as well so we have to take it into account in terms of the way we played.
“We conceded a lot considering the dominance we had so there are a lot of little things for us to improve on. But you would have to be happy with the finishing which was quite good even though we were sloppy at times in that department.
“Generally speaking, for a March game, you would have to be happy with that kind of score.”
Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke was adamant that neither the game nor the performance did his team justice.
“I don’t believe Dublin is that good and Armagh is that bad, there is an in between somewhere, but they are definitely a much better side than what Armagh is at the moment. We have a lot of work to do,” he said.
DOWN shocked hosts Mayo in the NFL in Castlebar on Sunday, but manager James McCartan felt the win was justified.
“That’s a tremendous result for us,” he said. “We’re delighted to come here and get a result. I felt we showed a wee bit of resilience. We moved the ball quicker which we’re trying to do.
“Some people think we’re trying to play some fancy defensive system, but that’s certainly not the case. We want the ball moved as quickly as possible into the forwards.
“We think we can cause problems if we do that. If we don’t, we get caught up, closed down and look a very average team.”
McCartan also felt his team has answered recent comments about them in the best manner possible.
He added, “Some of things that were said and written over the last couple of weeks probably have hurt a little. But, at the same time, we probably aren’t world-beaters but we’re in here, and we’re fighting.”
KILKENNY maintained their impressive start to the National Hurling League with a deserved win away to Waterford on Sunday.
“It’s beautiful weather, really mild and that is helping us,” said Kilkenny boss Brian Cody afterwards.
“It’s real hurling weather and that contributes to it. Very often at this time of the year it’s freezing cold, but this weather -- it’s like playing in the summer.”
EXPERIENCED stars John Mullane and Eoin Kelly are set to return to the Waterford hurling team, possibly in time for next weekend’s fixtures in the National League . . .
OFFALY’S Richie Dalton is to miss the entire National Football League campaign with a knee injury but manager Gerry Cooney has been persuaded to stay on by the County Board despite another defeat in the league on Sunday.