Friday 21 July 2017

Minor star Mooney gets Down call-up

DOWN boss James McCartan has reacted dramatically to losing to Armagh in their Ulster SFC opener by drafting in minor star Caolan Mooney ahead of the qualifiers, writes Cliona Foley.

The Rostrevor teenager scored a spectacular goal for the Down minors at the Athletics Grounds two weeks ago on the day that their seniors were beaten by the Orchard County.

But it was not thought that he would get such a quick call-up, not least because he has already signed up for Aussie Rules side Collingwood and is due Down Under this summer.

Marty Clarke, who returned from three years with Collingwood to play a pivotal role in Down's march to last year's All-Ireland final, is in Australia for a short break that has sparked speculation that he is set to rejoin the AFL side. McCartan has stressed that Clarke will be back for the qualifiers.

GAA scheme to boost games in urban areas

THE GAA yesterday announced a €200,000 12-week investment aimed at increasing participation levels in Gaelic games in urban areas. The scheme, which is part of the GAA's National Strategic and Vision Plan, will be rolled out in Galway, Sligo, Dublin, Athlone, Drogheda, Bray, Belfast, Derry, Cork, Limerick and Waterford, and will employ 14 people.

National Urban Development Committee chairman Larry O'Connell said: "We want to increase the numbers of people playing and volunteering in the GAA by 20pc by 2016."

Cavan turn to youth

The Cavan team to face Donegal in Sunday's Ulster championship quarter-final will feature eight players having their first championship start, including four of their Ulster U-21 championship-winning side -- Gearoid McKiernan, Niall Murray, Fergal Flanagan and Niall McDermott -- joined by James McEnroe, Patrick Carroll, Dane O'Dowd and Damien O'Reilly.

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