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From the stands: Cadbury launch not so sweet for Heslin

Getting sent off at 18 years old deserves a telling off and a spell on the sidelines. What it doesn't deserve is a humiliation in front of your peers. But that's exactly what up-and-coming Westmeath star John Heslin got last Tuesday when he turned up at the launch of the Cadbury under 21 football championship.

As a Cadbury scholar, he had been invited to attend the launch along with Cork's Aidan Walsh and Donegal's Dermot Molloy.

While he was changing into his gear for the photo call -- which was attended by Dermot Earley, Paul Caffrey, Micheál Ó Dómhnaill and Darragh ó Sé -- he was pulled aside and told he was not allowed partake in the photo call because of his sending off at the weekend.

His name was still included in the following day's reports as being in attendance, despite the fact he was not allowed to stand in for the photographs.

Heslin received the red card for a dodgy tackle against Cavan last Sunday. As a result, he missed last Wednesday's under 21 Leinster Championship game against Laois and will also have to sit out their next-round encounter with Offaly.

He is also sidelined for two National League matches for the Westmeath seniors. It's very easy to forget how young these players are, and here at From The Stands we think missing four inter-county games is enough punishment for an 18-year-old.

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When Derry and Laois come face to face today, they will not only be competing for two points but also for the title of the dirtiest team in the National League. The GAA have just released their Fair Play Index for the Allianz Football League and while Derry jointly hold the bottom spot with Donegal, Laois are within touching distance.

Derry have received 13 yellow cards which gives them an average of 6.5 in the disciplinary points system, while Laois have earned nine yellow cards and one red giving them an average of 5.5 points. It's all to play for today in Derry.

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On Friday, Ireland went a little cricket-crazy when the national team got off to a blistering start against Bangladesh in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

The shock and excitement was reflected in the betting markets which saw Ireland go as low as 1/2 to win the match. They didn't manage to pull off a victory, eventually losing by 27 runs, but it still made for compelling viewing and Betfair Ireland reported that €16million was traded on their site.

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When Benny Gaughran first played Sigerson Cup football for UCD in 1964, Eugene McGee was in charge of the team. Gaughran recalls the advice he received from his manager.

"You're playing right half-forward today, you're playing with county stars. Where you come from you are a big fish in a small pond. Here you're a small fish in a very big pond," McGee said. "You're not picked on this team to solo the ball all over the place. You're picked to win the ball and then give it to other lads to score. If you can't do that, you're off the team."

Gaughran quickly learned the value of teamwork and for his efforts won a Sigerson Cup. In celebration of a 100 years of the colleges competition, Irial Glynn has written a book called UCD and the Sigerson which contains detailed Sigerson accounts and stories from some of the country's most well-known footballers.

Denis 'Ogie' Moran, Ciarán McManus, McGee and a host of other football greats all share their memories of the competition.

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With an increasing number of GAA clubs feeling the impact of the recession on their pockets, MyClubFinances.com have developed a system to help clubs with their online fundraising. The system enables clubs to raise funds efficiently, securely and conveniently.

On Wednesday evening at 7.30 in the CityWest Hotel, MyClubFinances.com will give a demonstration on the system and show how different clubs around the country are enjoying success in their online fundraising efforts.

Marie Crowe


Sunday Indo Sport