Sport Hurling

Thursday 22 February 2018

Tribal boost as Burke ban cut by four weeks

Galway's Darragh Burke was sent off against Kilkenny in January
Galway's Darragh Burke was sent off against Kilkenny in January

Galway hurlers have received an early-season boost after an eight-week suspension to promising half-back Darragh Burke was reduced by half.

Galway appealed the punishment handed down to Burke after he was sent off against Kilkenny in the Walsh Cup.

Leinster Council's Central Hearings Committee have now reduced the ban to four weeks and while Burke will miss Sunday's league opener against Dublin, he will be available for the trip to Waterford the following week.

Referee Brian Gavin showed the 21-year-old from St Thomas' a straight red card following an incident with Eoin Larkin during Galway's Walsh Cup semi-final defeat to Kilkenny more than two weeks ago. Burke was poised to miss the opening four league games against Dublin, Waterford, Kilkenny and Tipperary.

Elsewhere, Antrim defender Kevin O'Boyle will miss the rest of the county's NFL Division 4 campaign after suffering a broken ankle.

O'Boyle sustained the injury during the Saffrons' defeat to Wicklow on Sunday. Liam Bradley was without five or six regulars during their opening two Allianz League defeats to Leitrim and Wicklow, and although Kevin Niblock, Conor Murray, Sean McVeigh and Ricky Johnston are ready to return, O'Boyle's absence is a major blow to their promotion hopes.

Antrim do not play Fermanagh in the Ulster championship until June 1, which should give the Cargin defender time to make a full recovery before the trip to Brewster Park.

Meanwhile, Ulster boss Joe Kernan has included seven Tyrone players in his squad for Sunday's inter-provincial semi-final against Leinster in Navan, with Darren McCurry and Conor Clarke among the newcomers.

There are no Armagh players in the squad.

Ulster (SF v Leinster) – S Cavanagh, C Cavanagh, N Morgan, P Harte, C Clarke, M Donnelly, D McCurry (Tyrone); E Donnelly, R McCluskey, R Jones (Fermanagh); R Beggan, C Walshe, K Hughes, C McManus (Monaghan); K Lacey, M Murphy, M McHugh, E McGee, N McGee (Donegal); J Kielt, C McKaigue, SL McGoldrick (Derry); D Givney, E Keating, C Mackey, R Dunne (all Cavan); K McKernan, M Poland (Down).

Irish Independent

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