Sunday 18 August 2019

Jonny Cooper and James McCarthy blow for Dublin ahead of Super 8s opener

 

Jonny Cooper leads the Dubs but he will miss out at the weekend
Jonny Cooper leads the Dubs but he will miss out at the weekend
Jonny Cooper. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Conor McKeon and Colm Keys

Jonny Cooper is unlikely to play in Dublin's Super 8s opener against Cork in Croke Park on Saturday (7.0).

Cooper hasn't played a competitive match in almost four months due to a foot injury, although he is understood to be making progress. His last appearance in blue came on March 16, when Dublin were beaten by Tyrone in the league.

In Cooper's absence Philly McMahon has re-established himself in the team after missing the entirety of the league, while David Byrne has held off the claims of Rory O'Carroll for the full-back position after missing almost a full year, including all of last year's championship, due to a broken bone in his foot.

Jim Gavin will be forced into at least one change from the team that beat Meath by 16 points in the Leinster SFC final.

Limped

James McCarthy limped out of that match with a knee injury and while initial fears of potential ligament damage were quickly allayed, he is unlikely to play a part in either the clash with Cork, or Dublin's second match against Connacht champions Roscommon seven days later.

Elsewhere, Kerry's opening Super 8s game with Mayo in Killarney on Sunday is expected to be close to a sell-out at the almost 32,000-capacity venue after a rush on tickets yesterday.

Some 9,000 tickets sales were accounted for in just two hours from 4pm and 6pm between season ticket holder and county board allocations and general ticket sales.

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The capacity of Fitzgerald Stadium has been reduced by about 15 per cent on health safety grounds, down from 38,000 because it is a stand-alone fixture with general admission.

Tickets only became available in the afternoon with Kerry GAA acknowledging supporters' "frustration" as ticket outlets reported queuing for three hours in some cases.

Mayo's renowned support is expected to mobilise for a hugely anticipated fixture.

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