Conor Lane had a bad day at the office in Croke Park last Sunday.

He appeared to Nelson’s, admittedly jaundiced eye, to get two big calls wrong.

There was a clear foul by Brian Fenton on Bryan McMahon which should have seen Meath awarded a penalty, it looked accidental as the midfielder seemed to stumble into McMahon’s back but accidental or not it was a foul. Lane was close enough to get it right and had a very clear view of what happened.

He didn’t call the foul which was his second error of the match.

Minutes earlier Fenton had attempted to round Meath’s debutant goalkeeper Harry Hogan and it looked like the Longwood lad caught his legs which would have meant a Dublin penalty.

The penalty Dublin did get was a penalty.

It has been claimed it was a soft one however Nelson has yet to read any rule which says a foul must be forceful, yes Cormac Costelloe’s touch on Fenton was minimal and yes Fenton didn’t have to fall, but the bottom line is he was pushed which clearly is a foul.

It wasn’t a great weekend for refs and penalties as in the Ulster clash between Tyrone and Donegal Joe McQuillan failed to award Donegal their second penalty of the match for a very obvious foul.

And Nelson is surely not alone among Meath fans in thinking that Karma came back to bite Michael Murphy who was sent off in that match.

That red card makes up for the one he should have got against Meath in a league final in Croke Park.

And to close on the subject, while appreciating that they had time restraints it was odd in the extreme that the Sunday Game panellists didn’t take a close look, or indeed any look at all at Meath’s spot kick claims.

****************************************************************************************************************************************************When the then Meath chairman, Barney Allen, drove to Carrickmacross to suggest to the Banty that he should step aside as Meath manager he may have felt he was doing the right thing.

Subsequent events may have shown otherwise.

When he was announced as the second coming of the Monaghan messiah even the GAA lovers in the Farney county had their doubts but even those doubters are surely believers now.

In the most trying of circumstances, following the unbelievably tragic death of the county under 20 captain in a car crash the small man from Corduff  got his senior side focused on the Ulster semi final against Armagh which they duly won.

In media interviews afterwards Banty hit the right note of respect showing that not alone is he a more than decent football manager he is a decent man.

We could have done worse than keep him,


The Olympics starts next Friday and Nelson will be tuning in.

Sadly like a good many more viewers his first question as the records start to tumble will be, ‘What are they on.’

Similar to body building shows which have a section for those who are ‘clean’, ie; not using drugs, and those who are not, perhaps it is time that the Olympics went the same way.

The problem with that suggestion is that in the clean section they might not be able to fill all eight lanes on the athletics track.