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Meath accept Farrell ban ruling

MEATH confirmed yesterday that they will not be taking Brian Farrell's appeal any further, which means they'll definitely be without him for their All-Ireland qualifier showdown with Louth.

Farrell was sent off soon after he came off the bench against Kildare and reported for 'striking with the hand.' The Royals had high hopes that video evidence would help get his four-week suspension lifted, but the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) has upheld the referee's decision.

Farrell used social networking site Twitter to convey his own reaction afterwards, saying "attended appeal on red card. It's not been overturned, 'as it is probable the offence occurred'... absolutely ragin!"

But a Meath spokesman was more diplomatic yesterday, saying only that they were "surprised that his appeal was turned down."

Donegal's Michael Murphy (straight red) and Monaghan captain Dick Clerkin (second yellow) both successfully appealed to the same CHC meeting. Murphy's straight red against Cavan last week was particularly controversial.

The referee reported him for "behaving in any way which is dangerous to an opponent," but the CHC decided that he was guilty only of 'charging' and cleared him to line out against Tyrone in the upcoming Ulster semi-final.

A double-yellow card does not carry any suspension, so Clerkin was already free to line out against Offaly in next weekend's qualifiers, but Farney boss Eamonn McEneaney said yesterday that their midfielder was particularly keen to clear his name because he is the team captain and felt he had been incorrectly sent off against Tyrone.

"If he was sent off again on two yellows this summer that would also earn an automatic two-week suspension and, with the qualifier games coming in such quick succession, that is a risk you don't want to take with any player," he said.

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