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Flynn reprieve big boost for Kildare

KILDARE football boss Kieran McGeeney has been boosted with the news that county midfielder Daryl Flynn will be available for the last four rounds of the National League, despite serving a five-month ban.

Flynn originally received a 24-week suspension following an alleged altercation with a referee after his club Moorefield's first-round defeat by Portlaoise in the Leinster club championship in late October.

He had been sent off on a second yellow card and the heavy retrospective ban was set to keep him out until the last round of the league. But his suspension has been cut by four weeks after an appeal to Leinster Council on Thursday night.

And that four-week reprieve means he will only miss Kildare's first three games in Division 2 (versus Antrim, Derry and Donegal) and will be back in time for the Lilies' fourth-round tie with Laois on March 13.

At the same hearing Moorefield actually had a fine, for refusing to change their jerseys in the same game, increased from €750 to €1,000.

But a threat to take away their home advantage for future Leinster club games was lifted.

The culmination of another lengthy appeal means that the Connacht junior club hurling decider is finally going ahead tomorrow. Western Gaels had reached the semi-finals, but got thrown out for fielding an illegal player and St Mary's-Kiltoghert (Leitrim) had been put through to meet Bearna Na Forbacha (Galway).

The Sligo club took their appeal to the DRA on Wednesday and the DRA quashed the original decision of the Connacht Hearings Committee (CHC) and referred it back to them for a second hearing.

But when the provincial CHC revisited it on Thursday, they upheld their original decision and fixed the final, between Barna and St Mary's, for Ballinamore tomorrow (2.0).

Elsewhere both Down and Antrim will be without key players -- James Colgan and Thomas McCann -- for the start of the NFL after they got red cards in this week's McKenna Cup game. Both counties are studying video evidence in a bid to get their four-week suspensions lifted.

Irish Independent