Thursday 22 August 2019

Harnedy and Delaney cleared as Gallagher leads Longford exodus

In the clear: Conor Delaney. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
In the clear: Conor Delaney. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

CORK hurling skipper Seamus Harnedy and Kilkenny defender Conor Delaney are available to play in their respective provincial openers after their appeals were upheld at the GAA's Central Appeals Committee (CAC) late on Thursday night.

The pair were shown straight red cards in the final round of the League - Harnedy against Tipperary and Delaney against Wexford - and sat out the subsequent relegation play-off between their counties.

It later emerged that their one-match bans would apply for a championship game as suspensions cannot be served in relegation play-offs. Cork and Kilkenny successfully argued that the relegation play-off did not count as there was no demotion involved for the losers; both are now cleared to play.

Harnedy's presence is a huge boost for Rebel boss John Meyler with the inspirational attacker available for their crucial first-round Munster SHC clash against Tipp on May 12.

Delaney is highly unlikely to appear for the Cats against Dublin on May 11, however, as the full-back broke his foot in club action for Castlecomer last weekend and faces some time out.

Meanwhile, Longford look like being without a host of key players for the summer, with influential midfielder Darren Gallagher leading an exodus from Padraic Davis' squad.

Gallagher was Longford's top scorer during their Division 3 campaign with 2-22 but has opted to spend time in the US and will miss their Leinster SFC quarter-final against Kildare/Wicklow on May 26.

"Darren is an extraordinary player who was committed to us for the National League and what a brilliant season he enjoyed, playing a major role to consolidate the Division 3 status," Davis told the Longford Leader.

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"Without doubt, he is one of the best midfielders in the country and he will be sorely missed in the championship. We have to respect his wish to spend some time in America."

Davis is also expected to be without Rian Brady, Robbie Smyth and Dessie Reynolds as they also heading Stateside for the summer, but Padraig McCormack has returned from injury.

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