MEATH boss Colm O’Rourke had some harsh words to say after watching his side pick up their second Allianz League Division 2 win at Pairc Tailteann.

Victory came at a cost for Meath who lost talisman Shane Walsh to injury after just 13 minutes, having also to start without the services of Mathew Costello, injured playing with DCU in midweek.

“We were also forced to take off Darragh Campion and Cathal Hickey who also played Sigerson during the week,” a clearly annoyed O’Rourke said afterwards.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that Mathew Costello comes back from playing in Cork and less than 48 hours later he is put out in a very important game for his college. The timing of the Sigerson is all wrong, we have six players tied up in it and we had to take off five of them today.

“There are two of them now injured with hamstrings, it is pure overuse injuries, it’s a disgrace, it’s an abuse of players and it shouldn’t be going on at this time. Sigerson is a great competition, I was delighted to play in it myself and winning it with UCD but it wasn’t at that time competing with county football.

“This league is especially important for Division 2 teams who are not guaranteed access to the All-Ireland series unless they finish high in the division so we should have access to all our players,” O’Rourke continued.

“I know the managers of those teams have tried to mind their players but you cannot possibly do it and they are back out again this Wednesday night in semi-finals. I think it is an absolute disgrace what is happening with the best of young players, because they are so willing to give of themselves.

“The GAA talk about player welfare, well this is the ultimate in player abuse,” according to O’Rourke who added that he was happy with his side’s win but not with the overall display after his team struggled to come close to the impressive showing against Cork in the opening round.

“We gave away a lot of frees which were punished. I know we scored four goals but at this level you need to be scoring at least 16 points. Conditions were perfect but to only score eight points was disappointing.”

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