independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

AROUND THE COUNTIES

O'Mahony to stay with Mayo MAYO - County senior football manager John O'Mahony has reiterated his desire to stay on at the helm, despite his recent election to the Dáil. The Fine Gael TD insists he will see out his three-year term he agreed last December.

Just hours after being elected, O'Mahony was at the intermediate championship match between Davitts and Mayo Gaels before taking in the SFC opener where his local side and last year's beaten finalists, Ballaghadereen, beat Shrule/Glencorrib. Reigning champions Crossmolina got off to a flyer when they beat Ballinrobe by 2-15 to 1-4.

Anxious wait for Laois boss
LAOIS - Manager Liam Kearns is sweating on the fitness of a number of key players ahead of his side's Leinster SFC clash with Longford. Barry Brennan and Gary Kavanagh are out, with the latter having had an operation on a knee injury last week though Darren Rooney, who picked a groin strain with the county hurlers, is expected to start.

Tom Kelly is also a doubt for the O'Moore men, but Ross Munnelly has shaken off a hamstring injury and is expected to take his place in the starting line up.

Downey takes over Kilkenny
FORMER Kilkenny camogie legend Ann Downey has been appointed manager of the county's senior camogie team following the recent resignation of Bobby Jackman.

Downey, who won 12 All-Ireland senior medals during a glittering career, becomes only the second female inter-county manager at senior level, the other being Wexford's Stellah Sinnott.

The two female managers will be in opposition on June 30 when their sides clash in the third round of the championship.

As players, they met in the 1994 All-Ireland final which Kilkenny won - the last time the Cats won the All-Ireland.

McEneaney to shuffle pack
LOUTH - Manager Eamonn McEneaney may be forced to shuffle his pack for his side's third instalment with Wicklow on Sunday. Full-forward Shane Lennon is rated doubtful after he picked up a shoulder injury in the dying minutes of extra-time.

However, Louth can call on the services of John O'Brien who has shaken off his knock to put himself back in the reckoning, while JP Rooney is also in line for a starting berth after he replaced Darren Clarke in the first half of the last game.

Injury crisis for Tipp footballers
TIPPERARY - The county footballers face some thing of an injury crisis ahead of their SFC semi-final with Cork on Sunday. Manager John Owens may delay naming his team as he has no fewer than seven players on the treatment table - including brothers Con, Pa and Andrew Morrissey, captain Mark O'Brien and former Allstar Declan Browne.

Meanwhile, the hurlers continue their preparations for their clash with Limerick with the news that Paul Kelly is considered doubtful.

Dempsey calls for protection
LONGFORD - Luke Dempsey has called on Mayo referee Vincent Neary and his officials to provide adequate protection for his players on Saturday when they face a "bulked-up" Laois in Tullamore.

Dempsey has received reports from recent challenge outings against Kerry and Roscommon of a more physical Laois approach.

"I was reading Liam Kearns in a Sunday newspaper article and he said that they have gone for a more physical approach. I just hope that it's not over-physical and that the referee and his assistants offer the skilful players from Longford proper protection," he stated.

"There's no place in the game for the over-physicality that we saw between Donegal and Armagh - that was rugby league type football and I don't like it when skilful players are unable to express themselves."

With a number of injury worries - most notably to Diarmuid Masterson and Liam Keenan - Dempsey is expected to postpone naming his team until later in the week.

Kavanagh out of Dubs clash
WEXFORD - Midfielder Kevin Kavanagh has been ruled out of Saturday week's Leinster SHC semi-final clash with Dublin.

Kavanagh who had struggled with a groin injury aggravated the problem when assisting his club St Patrick's in the SHC.

Having impressed at midfield in the closing stages of the league, Kavanagh has now been ruled out of action for up to three weeks.

And in a further blow Rathnure's John O'Connor has also been ruled out of contention with a broken thumb.

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