Sunday 17 December 2017

Forde cleared to walk the line for Cavan's London date

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

CAVAN selector Anthony Forde is free to take his place on the Croke Park sideline for today's All-Ireland SFC qualifier against London after successfully appealing an eight-week suspension.

The former county star was faced with the prospect of having to sit out the rest of the Breffni's historic season after it was proposed that he get a two-month ban related to the half-time melee that marred his side's second-round qualifier clash with Fermanagh.

Forde and a Fermanagh mentor were both sent to the stands after intervening in the brawl.

He was able to fulfil his usual role when Cavan beat Derry in extra-time last week because he had submitted a request for a hearing which was pending.

Forde's case was heard by the Central Hearings Committee (CHC) on Thursday night and they have exonerated him, leaving him free to operate alongside manager Terry Hyland again in today's clash with London.

It is a first appearance at Croke Park for the Exiles, and victory would be Cavan's first championship success at HQ since they won the replayed 1952 All-Ireland final.

SCALPEL

Meanwhile, Galway hurling boss Anthony Cunningham has taken a scalpel to the side that lost the Leinster final to Dublin, making six changes for tomorrow's All-Ireland quarter-final against Clare.

Colm Callanan gets a recall to replace James Skehill in goals and Jason Grealish gets a championship debut at wing-back at the expense of Joseph Cooney.

The Tribesmen have a new midfield pairing of Aidan Harte Harte and Andy Smyth, who replace Iarla Tannian and James Regan, and there are two more changes up front, where Johnny Glynn replaces Cyril Donnellan and Damien Hayes comes in for Davy Glennon.

Elsewhere, Armagh senior James Morgan and county U-21 Ronan Finnegan are lucky to have escaped serious injuries after a car crash this week, but will still miss a considerable portion of Crossmaglen's club season.

Morgan was one of the Orchard County's better players against Galway a week ago, but his injuries are understood to include a broken arm and dislocated hip.

Crossmaglen manager Joe Kernan confirmed that the pair had back, leg and hip injuries, but said: "it could have been worse."

Galway (SH v Clare) – C Callanan; K Hynes, F Moore, J Coen; S Kavanagh, D Collins, J Grealish; A Harte, A Smyth; D Burke, C Cooney, J Glynn; D Hayes, J Canning, N Burke.

* The draw for the All-Ireland football quarter-finals will be made on RTE Radio One tonight (8.30) after the Croke Park qualifier triple-header. Repeat pairings of provincial finals are not allowed.

Irish Independent

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