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No quick DRA fix for Dublin's Fennell

THE Disputes Resolution Authority has started hearing evidence in the long-running Eamonn Fennell transfer saga, but it could be another few weeks before the Dublin footballer discovers if he can move from his home club, O'Toole's, to St Vincent's.

A DRA Tribunal convened last night in Lucan but it was made clear, early on, that the case would not be concluded in one marathon one-night session. Instead, it's understood that both sides outlined their submissions and there were some questions, but the substantive arguments have yet to be fully teased out.

The case has been adjourned but, as of yet, there is no date for the resumed hearing. It seems highly unlikely that there will be any judgement ahead of next week's opening round of the Evening Herald Dublin SFC - O'Toole's play St Pat's of Palmerstown in O'Toole Park next Wednesday while, on the same night, St Vincent's tackle St Mark's in the Iveagh Grounds.

AARON KERNAN wants GAA disciplinary chiefs to reconsider a proposed two-month suspension for Down defender Daniel McCartan, who was sent off in the NFL Division Two decider for an alleged stamp on the Armagh player.

The CCCC has recommended the minimum eight-week ban for stamping, but Kernan countered: "I'd say if you look at it on TV, it looks like there's more to it. But he hardly touched me, to be honest. Genuinely, I don't feel he meant to do what happened," he added. "I wouldn't see it as a stamp. I wouldn't like to see any man miss two or three months at the busiest time of the year over something like that."

Down are set to contest the proposed ban, which would see McCartan miss their SFC opener against Donegal plus an Ulster semi-final if the Mourne men advance.

CORK hurlers' NHL final defeat has come with a sting in the tail - giant attacker Michael Cussen looks set to miss their Munster SHC opener against Tipperary on May 30 after breaking a bone in his hand during Sunday's reversal to Galway.

STEPHEN O'NEILL has declared himself fighting fit for Tyrone's opening defence of their Ulster SFC title, agaisnt Antrim on May 23.

The 2005 Footballer of the Year has fully recovered from the dislocated elbow that KO'd any league involvement this spring, and he revealed: "I played my first club game on Sunday. It went well and I'm happy that the elbow held up and there were no problems. I'm looking forward to it now. It was frustrating, but these things happen."