| 14.7°C Dublin

O'Connor latest to quit Cork

ALAN O'CONNOR has become the latest Rebel to quit inter-county football, leaving new boss Brian Cuthbert with a potential midfield headache in the New Year.

The 28-year-old has followed five of his 2010 All-Ireland winning colleagues into recent retirement following the exits of Graham Canty, Pearse O'Neill, Paudie Kissane, Noel O'Leary and goalkeeper Alan Quirke, while Ciarán Sheehan has added to the exodus with his move to AFL side Carlton.

Both O'Neill and Canty had operated at midfield for spells this year so, with O'Connor's departure, Cuthbert admitted: "There are certainly one or two positions up for grabs in midfield now ... it's up to the players there now to prove that they deserve a shot."

The Dublin-born player had been named in Cuthbert's winter training squad but the manager insisted his retirement was "not a surprise".



MOUNT Leinster Rangers boss Tom Mullally reckons their shock ambush of Ballyboden St Enda's – thereby becoming the first Carlow club to reach a Leinster SHC final – had been years in the making.

"Ah sure, where does belief come from?" Mullally reflected after their weekend triumph.

"It comes from the experiences we've gone through. It's come from local club championships here; it's come from Leinster Intermediate (campaigns); it's come from losing to Freshford in the Intermediate final three or four years ago, to winning the Leinster final two years ago, to winning an All-Ireland semi-final.

"It's players developing each other and believing in each other."



THE GAA has reopened moves to make racism a clear red card offence. The standing rules committee has proposed that on-field sectarian or racist remarks be governed under the playing rules of the Official Guide and punishable by a straight red.

At present such offensive remarks are primarily dealt with under the catch-all "discrediting the Association" rule and can carry a two-month ban.