Friday 15 December 2017

Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly will not appeal 12-week ban

 

Diarmuid Connolly remonstrates with linesman Ciarán Branagan during the Leinster SFC quarter-final between Dublin and Carlow at O’Moore Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Diarmuid Connolly remonstrates with linesman Ciarán Branagan during the Leinster SFC quarter-final between Dublin and Carlow at O’Moore Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin will be without the services of the St Vincent's powerhouse until the end of August with the ban expiring on midnight before the second All-Ireland football semi-final, which takes place on August 27. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael Verney

Diarmuid Connolly has accepted the 12-week ban handed down for his altercation with linesman Ciaran Brannigan in last Saturday's Leinster SFC quarter-final against Carlow and will be out of action until the All-Ireland semi-finals, if Dublin make it that far.

The Central Competitions Control Committee reviewed footage of the incident where the Dublin forward pushed the linesman and issued the suspension and despite Connolly having the option to appeal to the Central Hearings Committee, he has instead taken his punishment.

Dublin will be without the services of the St Vincent's powerhouse until the end of August with the ban expiring on midnight before the second All-Ireland football semi-final, which takes place on August 27.

Meanwhile, while no Kilkenny team to face Wexford has been officially announced, strong rumours on Noreside suggest that Thomastown forward John Donnelly, who fired two points following his second-half introduction for U-21s against Dublin last week, is set to make a shock debut in attack.

James O'Donoghue returns to the Kerry team to face Clare in the Munster SFC semi-final but much attention will be drawn to the curtain-raiser at Cusack Park tomorrow which sees Brendan O'Sullivan return from suspension to line out at midfield for the Kingdom junior side.

O'Sullivan has been at the centre of a GAA storm in recent weeks when details of a positive test for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine (MHA), back in April 2016, were leaked with the promising Kerry player having already served a reduced ban of 21 weeks.

The inclusion of O'Donoghue for Jack Savage is one of five changes made by Kerry senior boss Fitzmaurice from their Division 1 final defeat of Dublin with Brian Kelly back between the posts in place of Brendan Kealy.

Shane Enright replaces Ronan Shanahan in defence; Anthony Maher resumes in the engine room in place of Jack Barry, while Barry John Keane comes in for Jonathan Lyne in the full-forward line beside Paul Geaney and O'Donoghue.

Kerry (SF v Clare) - B Kelly; F Fitzgerald (capt), M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley, T Morley, P Murphy; D Moran, A Maher; M Geaney, K McCarthy, D Walsh; BJ Keane, P Geaney, J O'Donoghue.

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