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Clare's Kelly hit with 10-week suspension

Clare footballer Graham Kelly has been hit by a whopping 10-week suspension following his altercation with Cork's John Miskella in last Sunday's Munster SFC quarter-final.

Kelly was sent off for a second bookable offence after tangling off the ball with substitute Miskella at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Cork followers were left incensed by an apparent headbutt by Kelly into Miskella's face after referee Eddie Kinsella showed the red card.

Clare sources confirmed last night that Kelly has received the hefty ban -- two months for the headbutt plus a fortnight for a repeat offence.

At the end of last June's All-Ireland SFC qualifier against Clare, Kelly was also dismissed for two bookable offences. Kelly will not be eligible again until July 30.

Meanwhile, talks are to take place over the next few weeks between the Leinster Council and Galway to assess each other's view on whether the hurling championship link-up should extend to minor and U-21 grades.

It's currently confined to senior, where it will operate on a trial basis until 2013. However, it's likely Galway will take a permanent place in the Leinster SHC from there on.

The situation at underage level is far less clear. Despite having no provincial championships, Galway have done well at All-Ireland level in minor and U-21. Entering the Leinster underage championships would necessitate changes in Galway's club fixtures programme, further increasing the opposition.

Leinster CEO Michael Delaney believes some Leinster counties would oppose Galway's arrival at underage level as it could reduce prospects for their own youngsters.

With Galway and Antrim almost certain to continue with their current senior arrangements after 2013, the question of offering them 'home' venues for some games will arise. The visitors have to play all games in Leinster until the end of what will have been a five-season trial period in two years' time.

Irish Independent