Sunday 8 December 2019

Aidan O'Rourke calls up starlet Burns to Louth senior panel

Louth manager Aidan O'Rourke
Louth manager Aidan O'Rourke

Cliona Foley

LOUTH football boss Aidan O'Rourke has called up schoolboy Ryan Burns ahead of their Leinster SFC clash with Westmeath in a week's time.

Burns and his county U-21 colleagues Eoghan Lafferty and Conor Grimes have all been elevated to the county senior panel, but Burns' promotion has caused the biggest stir as he is still a minor and is sitting his Leaving Cert this summer.

He starred at corner-forward for the county U-21s in their two-game Leinster semi-final tussle with Meath, scoring 2-6 the first day and 0-6 in the replay which they lost.

"There is no such thing as (players) being too young unless they are lacking physically, but that's clearly not a problem for Ryan or Eoghan," O'Rourke said.

"The main problem is the Leaving Cert, but we approached Ryan's family and they agreed that it will be okay."

Louth were hit badly when the county's best underage talent Ciaran Byrne left to join Aussie Rules side Carlton last Winter.

Byrne, a 6' 2" forward from the St Mochta's club, was only 18, but had already established himself on the county seniors before taking up a two-year contract Down Under.

STAPLETON DOUBT FOR CARLOW SHOWDOWN

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LAOIS corner-back Brian Stapleton is an injury doubt ahead of their big derby clash with Carlow in Leinster hurling's round-robin on Sunday.

Stapleton got a blow to the side of his head in last week's victory over Westmeath and needed five stitches. He got them out yesterday but it remains to be seen if Laois will risk starting him.

Carlow, who drew with London and lost to Antrim, must win the game to stay in the running for one of the two quarter-final places.

John Meyler's team look set to start without centre-forward Eddie Byrne, who damaged his ankle last week.

Antrim top the group after two wins. The winners of Leinster's round-robin will play Wexford in the quarter-finals, while the runners-up will play Galway.

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