Friday 23 February 2018

Dublin fears for McCaffrey as former Footballer of the Year in danger of missing start of four in-a-row bid

Dublin's Jack McCaffrey leaves the field during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin's Jack McCaffrey leaves the field during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin are fearful that they might not have Jack McCaffrey for the start of next season after the flying wing-back underwent a scan yesterday to determine the extent of the damage to his knee after it buckled beneath him in the early stages of Sunday's All-Ireland final against Mayo.

McCaffrey was forced to withdraw soon after and there is growing concern among those in Dublin and his club Clontarf that he has torn his cruciate ligament - which would leave him on the sidelines for a prolonged spell.

Meanwhile, the GAA's Central Competition Controls Committee (CCCC) are expected to take a look at the incident before half-time involving Dublin's Eoghan O'Gara and Mayo's Colm Boyle.

But it is unclear if there will be sufficient evidence to lay a charge against him for behaving in a way that is dangerous to an opponent.

As O'Gara and Boyle tussled for possession just before half-time, Boyle fell to the ground and O'Gara's hand came into clear contact with Boyle's eye.

When TV footage was slowed it looked like a potential infraction for the Dublin player but it is not as clearcut as the incident which earned his colleague Philly McMahon a one-match ban after the 2015 All-Ireland final when, similarly, his hand came into contact with Kieran Donaghy's eye for a sustained period. McMahon did not subsequently challenge the ban which left him on the sidelines for the opening league match of 2016.

Elsewhere, Mayo returned to Castlebar with the future of manager Stephen Rochford very much up in the air.

Rochford still has one year left of a three-year agreement with Mayo and the desire will be for him to see it out.

At the Mayo banquet on Sunday night, Rochford received three separate standing ovations as he rose to address the crowd.

Lee Keegan is unlikely to come under investigation after he appeared to throw his GPS tracker in Dean Rock's direction as Rock lined up his match-winning free.

Players generally wear the trackers in special vests to measure their speed and length of movement but with the game almost at an end, Keegan made a last-ditch attempt to unsettle the Dublin free-taker.

While it can be considered unsporting behaviour, there is no specific offence in the rule book to cover such an incident but throwing a hurley is deemed a yellow-card offence.

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Irish Independent

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