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It is up to Cullen to decide if he accepts ban - Dubs chief Kettle

DUBLIN captain Bryan Cullen will make up his own mind whether to seek a personal hearing against the one-match suspension handed down by the CCCC for a late challenge on Paul Cahillane during last Saturday night’s Allianz League Division 1 victory over Laois.

The Skerries Harps man has now become the third Dublin player in consecutive games to pick up a suspension and has a narrow window between the time of notification of the proposed ban and Sunday’s clash with Armagh in order to lodge an application for a hearing.

Dublin chairman, Andy Kettle confirmed: “In a case like this it is up to the player. And I’m sure he and the management will talk before making any decision.”

Farney’s return home

IN a development which could have wide-ranging repercussions for the GAA’s new tough stance on on-field violence, Monaghan have won their case against the withdrawal of home advantage for their Division 2 clash with Louth this weekend.

The Farney became the first county to bring their gripe to the DRA this year after the CHC effectively upgraded a €5,000 fine which was recommended by the CCCC for their part in a tunnel brawl with Kildare in Clones. A statement released by the Monaghan county board this morning confirmed that the DRA had referred the case back to the CHC and as a result, they were re-instated as the ‘home’ side for Sunday.

Similar punishment was meted out to Cork after they chose to contest their fine after similarly unseemly scenes in their Division 1 draw with Armagh, meaning the Rebels lost home advantage for this Saturday’s clash with Laois but the DRA’s ruling late last night is sure to act as a deterrent against similar sanctions in the future.

Johnston woe for Lilies

THE CCCC have knocked back Seánie Johnston’s bid to join Kildare after Cavan Gaels chairman Michael Mooney revealed the club had received correspondence from Croke Park confirmation the decision.

“It’s nice for it to come to a conclusion and we can now concentrate on football and get him back in the squad,” said Mooney. “Cavan Gaels always wanted to see the best players playing for Cavan Gaels and for the county.” Johnston must now decide whether to challenge the decision or give up on his bid to switch to the Lilywhites.

Heslin inspires Westmeath

JOHN HESLIN was again the catalyst for the Westmeath footballers - this time, their U21 vintage after he turned in an inspirational performance to ensure an easy passage through to the Leinster U21FC semi-final and a clash with Dublin in two weeks’ time.

Having started at full-forward in the 0-11 to 0-3 win over Carlow at Carlow IT, the former Aussie Rules recruit was moved back into his more familiar environs of midfield and it was there that he dictated proceedings.

Leading 0-5 to 0-3 at half-time, Westmeath shut out the home side in the second-half with a stellar defensive effort, with Calum McCormack bagging three point from play but it was the defensive acumen of Kieran Sheridan, David Gavin and Kevin Maguire which laid the foundations for the win.

OFFALY held off a late Kildare rally last night to ensure their spot in the semi-finals of the Leinster U21 Football Championship.

With Anton Sullivan (0-4, 1f) impressing they led 0-5 to 0-4 at the break in Gracefield against a Kildare side featuring five of Kieran McGeeney’s senior panelists, including the highly-rated Tommy Moolick and Fionn Dowling - the latter a second-half substitute for the former.

The Lilywhites had defender Mickey Kelly sent off in the 39th minute, when they trailed by 0-7 to 0-5. And despite creating a raft of chances to force extra-time, Alan Barry’s charges kicked three late wides to unravel their hopes of making the semi-final.

LOUTH will meet Offaly in the last four after they survived a much tougher night against Longford than they had experience in their previous outing. Fifty-point victors over Kilkenny in round one, Louth managed to squeak past last year’s provincial finalists, Longford, by 3-6 to 1-10.

Eoin O’Connor’s first-half dismissal did little to prevent them from leading by 1-2 to 0-4 at half-time, with William Woods netting the goal for the Wee County and a flurry of scoring after the break featuring further goals from Shane O’Hanlon and Woods stretched their lead to 10 points.

Longford rallied though, kicking 1-5 without reply over the final stretch but couldn’t quite claw back their deficit.