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Fringe to the fore for Dubs


Dublin's Paul Flynn. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Paul Flynn. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Dublin's Paul Flynn. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

PAUL FLYNN will not appeal the four-week ban set to fall on his head as a result of his sending off during last Sunday's O'Byrne Cup loss to DCU in Parnell Park and will now miss Dublin's Allianz League opener with Kerry in Croke Park on Saturday, February 1.

The triple All Star wing-forward was dismissed by referee David Gough just 13 minutes after his arrival as a second-half substitute – Flynn's first competitive appearance of the season for Dublin – a passage of play in which several players from both teams contested a kick-out.

Gough immediately brandished red without consulting sideline officials or any of his umpires, and indicated that Flynn had struck an opponent.

"We just need to have a look at the tape before we view that," reflected Dublin boss Jim Gavin afterwards. "But the League games will be opportunities for guys, and guys will have to step up."

Having viewed the incident again, both management and the player are now set to accept their fate.

That means that Flynn will be forced to wait until Dublin's trip to Mullingar to take on Paul Bealin's new Westmeath troops on Sunday, February 9 for his spring bow, with his suspension set to elapse at midnight the night before.


Last year, Denis Bastick fell foul of the anomaly which still sees time-based suspensions used for pre-season inter-county competitions rather than the match bans utilised for League and Championship since the beginning of 2013.

The Templogue/Synge Street midfielder was dismissed on a straight red against Kildare in the O'Byrne final and missed two League games as a result.

Flynn's ban leaves the manager shorn one of his most trusted and consistent performers for Dublin's League opener, although Gavin can, should he choose, still call on a significant portion of his All-Ireland winning XV.

Of Dublin's starting defence last September, only Ger Brennan is definitely ruled out owing to his involvement with St Vincent's in their forthcoming AIB All-Ireland club SFC semi-final with Ballinderry, which is now fixed for Páirc Esler in Newry on Saturday, February 15.

He will also definitely miss Dublin's trip to Mullingar although both Brennan and clubmate Diarmuid Connolly could return in time for the second 'Spring Series' event, a home clash with Cork on the first day of March.

Should the Marino club qualify for the final on St Patrick's Day, however, both will also miss the Cork game and subsequent clashes with Kildare (home) and Derry (away).

March 29 and Dublin's reacqaintance with Mayo in Croke Park will thus be the soonest date either might reappear in a Dublin jersey.

James McCarthy is a major doubt for the Kerry game after Gavin revealed that the Ballymun wing-back is carrying an injury and will sit out an unspecified period of time.

Ditto Bernard Brogan, Paddy Andrews and Dean Rock, which means that of Gavin's preferred front six last September, only Ciarán Kilkenny and Paul Mannion are definitely available, as things stand.

As yet, neither of his first choice midfield pairing – All Stars Michael Darragh Macauley and Cian O'Sullivan – has been accounted for.


Neither played any part in the O'Byrne Cup, although when speaking after last Sunday's defeat, Gavin was certain that "everyone that we had last year that we want to play this year will be back with us," adding "we expect to see everyone in the National League".

Gavin's provisional training panel has also been bolstered this week by the return of his third level brigade – UCD players excluded – following the other college's respective exits from the O'Byrne Cup.

Kerry, though, will be similarly understrength on February 1 with Marc ó Sé, Declan O'Sullivan, Kieran Donaghy, Killian Young and Darran O'Sulivan all expected to miss at least the Kingdom's first two League matches although Paul Galvin could feature and may do so in a largely unfamiliar role.

Manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice revealed last Sunday, after Galvin was introduced as a substitute during the Kerry's McGrath Cup win over CIT for wing-back Brian McGuire, that he will be using the Finuge man in defence for the foreseeable future.

Tickets for this year's Spring Series are already available on tickets.ie with a four-game package priced at €40.

However, as there are no 'double-headers' involving either the Dublin hurlers or another major Division 1 football fixture, the Dublin county board could be facing diminished crowds for the second successive year.

Last year an average of 19,082 people attended over five events, down from a mean of 31,526 in 2011 for just three.