Hanratty reprieve boosts Cross
CROSSMAGLEN Rangers' bid for an eighth Ulster club football title got a massive boost yesterday when midfielder John Hanratty was cleared to play in tomorrow's provincial SFC semi-final against Burren.
Hanratty was one of Cross' best players in their opening-round defeat of reigning Ulster champions St Gall's until he was sent off a for a straight red card.
His appeal to the Ulster Hearings Committee on Thursday night was successful, however, lifting the automatic four-week ban and clearing him for tomorrow's Armagh-Down derby in Casement Park.
In a separate matter, St Gall's alleged that one of their officials was attacked along the sideline during that game with Crossmaglen, but Ulster's Competitions Control Committee (CCC) isn't due to discuss that incident until next week.
Meanwhile, Louth trio Mick Fanning, John O'Brien and Brian White are set to play their last game for the Wee County tonight before emigrating to Australia.
Despite their imminent departure Down Under in search of work, the three players travelled with their team-mates on Louth's one-week break to New York and will line out with Peter Fitzpatrick's troops in a challenge clash against the Exiles.
"It was great that Mick, John and Brian were able to travel with us to New York before they go to Australia," said Fitzpatrick. "I'm sure that the three lads will be determined to make a really big impression in their last game for us for some time."
However, the Australian-bound trio will not be joined in the Big Apple fixture by Shane Lennon, who, to Fitzpatrick's relief, has cancelled plans to also move to Australia.
Free-scoring full-forward Lennon is recovering from surgery on the thumb injury he was troubled with over the summer months.
The Louth boss is hopeful that the Kilkerley Emmets clubman will be able to figure in the season-opening O'Byrne Cup.