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AROUND THE COUNTIES By Colm O'Donovan

O'Sullivan adds to legend status CORK full-back Diarmuid O'Sullivan embellished his cult status among Rebel fans last Sunday with a 'Roy of the Rovers' display in a local soccer match.

O'Sullivan adds to legend status CORK full-back Diarmuid O'Sullivan embellished his cult status among Rebel fans last Sunday with a 'Roy of the Rovers' display in a local soccer match.

Hours after playing 70 minutes for Cork in the NHL against Galway he lined out alongside three of his brothers for local soccer club Ballintotis in the St Michael's AUL Cup final against Mayfield at Turner's Cross.

Operating at centre forward 'Sully' scored a cracking goal as the game finished 2-2 after normal time. With extra-time failing to separate the sides the game went to a penalty shootout, where the real drama began.

O'Sullivan then put on the goalkeeper's jersey and stood in goal. Both teams scored their first four penalties before O'Sullivan brilliantly saved Mayfield's fifth.

He promptly grabbed the ball, stuck it on the spot and fired it past the Mayfield 'keeper for the winner, before being engulfed by jubilant supporters.

Crokes to preview summer action ANY Dublin GAA fans looking for a bit of championship chat on the eve of the new season should head along to Kilmacud Crokes tomorrow night where the club are hosting a championship preview and GAA discussion night.

Former Crokes and Dublin boss Tommy Lyons and Kilkenny hurling legend DJ Carey will head up a panel of experts in the clubhouse in Stillorgan with proceedings getting underway at 8.30.

Admission is ?8 and includes a free ?5 bet with Paddy Power and entry into a draw for a pair of All-Ireland tickets.

Naas round off Festival fun NAAS GAA club are inviting patrons to finish off Punchestown race week with a visit to the club's new ?4million development which will be officially opened by EU Commissioner, Charlie McCreevy on Saturday.

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The occasion for the club will be marked by two challenge games. Kildare hurlers play Wexford at 3.45 while Kildare footballers host All-Ireland champions Kerry at 7.0.

Textbook service for Longford fans GAA fans in Longford who can't make it to their club's games will now be able to keep abreast of the result with a new text service being launched by the Longford County Board.

Supporters simply subscribe to the service by texting a short message to a number provided and they will get the result of the game texted to them minutes after the final whistle. Longford are the second county in Leinster to offer this service following the example of the Dublin website www.hill16.ie and further counties in the province are expected to offer the service shortly. Anyone interested should contact 094 9026663.

Beach football to make a splash WE'VE had beach soccer and beach volleyball, well now Long Island Gaels GAA club in New York are giving us Beach Gaelic Football.

The club are running a tournament on Saturday, May 21 next in Long Island for a game which, according to their website, promises to "take the passion and skill of the Ancient Irish Sport of Gaelic Football and transfer it to a laid-back beach atmosphere".

Teams consist of seven players per team, no footwear is allowed and they will play on a pitch roughly one third the size of a GAA field.

Lennon a major doubt for Louth THE first big championship game of the year is just over ten days away and it looks like Louth will be without star forward Shane Lennon for their meeting with Offaly after he sustained a serious injury in a club game on Sunday evening.

Lennon was taken to hospital and was put in plaster but he will not know the full extent of the injury until the swelling goes down and an x-ray can be taken, possibly today.

Barden boost for Longford LUKE Dempsey is hoping to give Paul Barden his first 70 minutes of county football this year when Longford play Galway at the opening of the new Killoe Young Emmets pitch next Monday (4.0).

Barden missed the whole of this year's league campaign with a thigh injury but he returned to action last Thursday when he played 35 minutes of a challenge game against Cavan.

O'Donoghue blow for Westmeath WESTMEATH look like being without All Star nominated full-back Donal O'Donoghue for their Leinster championship opener against Kildare or Wicklow on May 29.

O'Donoghue has opted off the panel for the next few weeks to concentrate on his final year exams in UCD and, although he will rejoin the panel after the exams are finished late next month, he will probably not have enough training done to start in that quarter-final.

Knockbeg to be at full strength KNOCKBEG College will be at full strength for the first time this year when they play St Mary's of Galway in next Monday's All-Ireland Colleges SF A (Hogan Cup) final in Thurles.

Midfielder Shane O'Neill missed the semi-final win over Omagh CBS through suspension but he is back along with last year's Laois minor Kevin Smith. Their opponents, St Mary's of Galway, are hoping to give football in the Western city a huge boost by capturing their first ever All-Ireland Colleges title on Monday.

Brennan out of Leitrim opener LEITRIM'S meagre resources will be stretched even further after the news that corner forward Donal Brennan will miss the county's first round opener with Sligo on May 22.

Brennan suffered a dislocated shoulder in a challenge against Dublin on Saturday and has been ruled out for at least two months.

Beano on course for summer return BRIAN 'Beano' McDonald looks to be on course for a dramatic appearance in this year's championship - despite suffering a horrific leg break only nine months ago.

McDonald has been playing for his club Arles Killeen in recent weeks and he gave his most impressive performance to date when kicking four points in the team's Division One league game against Graiguecullen last Sunday.

Dubs to welcome O'Meara back DUBLIN U21 footballers should have Ger O'Meara back for this Saturday's Cadbury's All-Ireland semi-final with Down in Navan after he missed last Sunday's replay win over Kildare with a dead leg.

O'Meara's fellow dual player Ronan Fallon is also in line to come back into the team. Fallon wasn't started on Sunday but the sending off and subsequent suspension of full back Willie Lowry could see him return in a defensive reshuffle.

Cork ace ready for U21 semi-final CORK are hoping to have Donal Óg O'Donovan back from injury for Saturday's Cadbury's All-Ireland U21 semi-final against Galway in Limerick.

O'Donovan missed both the semi-final and final of this year's Munster championship with ankle ligament damage. But he returned to action at the weekend with his club St Nick's and should be included in the team when it is announced later today.

The news on corner back Michael Shields is not so good, however, and his ankle ligament damage looks like it won't heal in time for Saturday's game.

Flannan's to plan minus McInerney ST FLANNAN'S look like being without captain James McInerney for next Monday's All-Ireland Colleges SH A final with St Kieran's in Thurles.

McInerney has been out for most of the season with a hamstring injury and missed both the Harty Cup final win over Thurles CBS and the All-Ireland semi-final victory over St Brendan's. He came on during the second half of the Clare U21 final on Sunday for his club Newmarket-on-Fergus but Con Woods, who trains the Flannan's team along with Jamesie O'Connor, reckons he is very unlikely to feature on Monday.

St Kieran's are looking to retain their title and extend their place at the top of the roll of honour and they should be at full strength.


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