Geraghty to miss London's season despite ban reduction
FORMER Galway senior footballer Paul Geraghty will be free to return to action earlier than expected but will still be unavailable for London for a full year.
Geraghty was sent off during last month's London SF league final between his club Neasden Gaels and winners Kingdom Kerry Gaels for allegedly striking referee Beano Collins.
A 96-week suspension was proposed, but after an appeal this week Neasden were informed yesterday that his suspension has been halved to 48 weeks.
It still means the 28-year-old Galway man will be missing for the club and the London team for most of next year, which is a big blow to the Exiles.
Geraghty (pictured below) has been one of the key men of a London team that has pushed a few teams hard in Connacht recently and beat Fermanagh last June in what was their first championship victory since 1977.
"It has been a difficult few weeks for the club and the player himself, but we're looking forward now and putting this incident behind us," said Neasden Gaels vice-chairman Brian Mulry.
Burren of Down and Latton of Monaghan, who meet in today's Ulster club SFC semi-final, have also both successfully appealed suspensions to get key men available for that big clash.
Burren's James McGovern was expected to miss the game after being red-carded last week, and Latton's Edmund Lennon was also expected to have to sit it out as he got a second yellow last week and had picked up two yellows in the previous year.
But both men have been cleared to play after appeals to Ulster Council on Thursday night.
Elsewhere, the GAA stressed yesterday that the later-than-usual dates for the next two years' All-Ireland senior hurling and football finals are because there are five Sundays in September 2012 and 2013.
They said the later dates are because the association's rules state that the football final must be played on the penultimate Sunday of September and the hurling final two weeks earlier.
"No other factors other than rule were considered in the scheduling of these fixtures," a statement said, confirming the 2012 final dates as September 9 (hurling) and September 23 (football).