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Cavanagh calls for ‘policing’ of life bans

SEAN CAVANAGH has called for stricter policing of GAA life bans, in the wake of recent ugly scenes that have marred club games in Connacht and Ulster, including his native Tyrone.

"The policing of life bans needs to be looked at, because local stewards are always going to let locals into the game,” the Tyrone footballer argued.

“I think the GAA really has to come down hard at some point and maybe look at punishing the teams than are involved rather than the individuals.”

ATHY have been boosted by the unexpected return of All-Star defender Mick Foley for next Sunday’s Leinster club SFC semi-final against Garrycastle. Foley was not due back from an extended holiday until late next month, but the 28-year-old has now cut short his break and lined out at full-back for Kildare in a challenge against a Patrician College selection on Saturday. His return compensates for the loss of full-back Brian Kinihan (shoulder).

PADDY O’ROURKE has removed Mike McGurn from his role as fitness coach with the Armagh footballers, saying it was designed to “freshen things up” in the backroom team.

The decision was reportedly a joint one between O’Rourke, Paul Grimley and the county board, with the manager insisting it was professional, rather than personal decision.

As a consequence, the former head of strength and conditioning with the Irish rugby team is now expected to spend the final season of his three-year term working with underage squads and the senior hurlers, instead of the flagship senior footballers.

LEITRIM are on the lookout for a new senior football manager after Mickey Moran was forced to stand down because of health reasons.

CROSSMAGLEN achieved the expected by retaining their Ulster club SFC crown with a 2-11 to 0-10 victory over 14-man Burren, whose task took on mountainous proportions following the 14th minute dismissal of midfielder Anton McArdle following an off-the-ball incident that left Tony Kernan grounded. Goals from Oisín McConville, after 20 minutes, and substitute Kyle Carragher, late on, sealed a ninth provincial title for the south Armagh giants.

“I didn't see anything which merited Anton (McArdle) being sent off and neither it seems did the referee or the linesman who were 10 yards away. The decision was made by the linesman who was furthest from the action,” said Burren manager, Frank Dawson.

THE hurlers of Crusheen and Na Piarsaigh must do it all again in pursuit of a first Munster club SHC title after a frenetic end to yesterday’s Thurles showdown ended in 0-14 to 1-11 stalemate. Teenager Shane Dowling struck 1-7 for Na Piarsaigh, who will renew Semple Stadium battle with the Clare champions next Sunday (2.0).