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Dubs fear Stephen Cluxton will miss Laois clash while Jonny Cooper might find himself in hot water

 

Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton after he was tackled after the ball by James McGivney of Longford, for which McGivney was shown the red card by referee Maurice Deegan, during the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Longford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton after he was tackled after the ball by James McGivney of Longford, for which McGivney was shown the red card by referee Maurice Deegan, during the Leinster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Longford at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton leaves the field after picking up an injury after he was tackled after the ball by James McGivney of Longford. He is a major doubt for Dublin’s Leinster SFC final clash with Laois on Sunday week. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Donnchadh Boyle and Michael Verney

Stephen Cluxton is a major doubt for Dublin's Leinster SFC final clash with Laois on Sunday week, and the reigning champions also face an anxious wait to see if Jonny Cooper will face any retrospective disciplinary action for his clash with Longford forward Dessie Reynolds.

A photo of Dublin skipper Cluxton attending the Mater Hospital emerged on social media on Sunday night after their 19-point rout of Longford and while Jim Gavin is still awaiting test results, early indications suggest the Parnells clubman faces a race against time to be fit for the provincial decider.

Cluxton was injured after a late hit from David McGivney in the first half, which resulted in the Longford attacker picking up a straight red card, with Gavin later revealing that the 36-year-old had suffered a "lower-back" injury after falling awkwardly following the hit.

The injury means Dublin could face into a championship game without their inspirational captain for the first time since their 2004 Leinster SFC quarter-final against Westmeath when then Dublin No 2 Brian Murphy deputised for Cluxton, who was serving a suspension having been sent off against Armagh in their qualifier defeat the previous year.

Understudy Evan Comerford got his opportunity in Cluxton's absence and the Ballymun Kickhams goalkeeper - an U-21 All-Ireland winner last year - could be parachuted into further action over the coming weeks and months if the five-time All-Star is ruled out for a lengthy period.

Comerford had little of note to do during his 50 minutes on the pitch, but is likely to come under close scrutiny to keep the No 1 shirt.

Meanwhile, the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) will decide whether All-Star defender Cooper has a case to answer after he appeared to catch Reynolds high.

Laois referee Maurice Deegan took no action at the time but after referees' chief Willie Barrett made it clear that officials would clamp down on high tackles this summer, the Na Fianna man could find himself in hot water.

Irish Independent

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