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Dublin’s O’Shaughnessy Out for Year

By Cathal Dervan

Dublin were left to count the cost of Sunday’s dramatic Leinster senior football championship semi-final win over Wexford as young defender Stephen O’Shaughnessy was all but ruled out for the rest of the championship with a shoulder injury.

O’Shaughnessy appeared to dislocate his shoulder just before halftime as Dublin came back from an interval deficit to beat Wexford with a late Jason Sherlock goal.

Stephen O’Shaughnessy

Dublin boss Paul Caffrey admitted, “It’s a huge downside. He has shown the type of consistency that we were looking for all year long. He has had trouble with his shoulder before and it’s a huge blow.”

Caffrey admitted that his side had their work cut out against the Wexford underdogs. “At 0-7 to 0-2, a lot of the crowd thought we were in the Leinster final already and that might have seeped down to the players,” he added.

“We seemed to change our style of play a bit and got our comeuppance. Wexford out-fought us in the middle sector for a good while and landed some fine scores. It was a worrying time but I was delighted with the way the lads battled back when the pressure really came on heading into the final quarter.”

Referee Blamed

LAOIS referee Maurice Deegan was at the center of a Clones storm on Saturday after three Donegal men and Armagh’s Francie Bellew were all sent off in a fractious Ulster senior football championship replay.

Donegal lost the game and must now play Wicklow in the All-Ireland qualifiers next Sunday without the three players who saw red.

Angry Donegal boss Brian McEniff said, “I have always maintained that an Ulster man should referee these games. There was no advantage to anybody, that refereeing performance, and I felt we suffered.

“I felt that when Armagh had the upper hand for much of the game, we had an opportunity to take scores and couldn’t because Armagh players were hanging out of us, and we didn’t get a free. What happens in that case? Players get frustrated.”

Armagh boss Joe Kernan revealed afterwards that his County Board will ask the GAA to reconsider the Bellew red card.

Kernan said, “We feel that from looking at the video evidence it’s obvious that Francie didn’t do anything to warrant a red card. We’ll be getting in touch with Croke Park and following proper procedure. It’s not actually an appeal, but we’ll be asking them to look at his case.”

Donegal’s Sweeney and Armagh’s Bellew have both requested a hearing from the GAA’s central disciplinary committee in an effort to have their red cards rescinded.

Tokyo Wins

IRELAND made little of the fact that their top stars were away on Lions duty as they wrapped up their brief Japanese tour with a second win in seven days against their hosts in Tokyo on Sunday.

Captain David Humphreys, center Gavin Duffy and hooker Frankie Sheahan both scored two tries as the Irish ran out 47-18 wins.

Niall O’Donovan, coach for the trip as Eddie O’Sullivan works with the Lions in New Zealand, said, “The aim of the tour was to get two wins so we are happy and satisfied. In the first half the humidity didn’t make it easy on our players — they were sweating a lot and tired as the game went on.

“We tried to make the most of our fresh players in the second half, unloaded the bench and it was very pleasing to tally up seven tries in all by the finish.”

Humphreys added, “We’re obviously delighted. We tried to play a different style from last week and keep the ball in hand. But the heat and humidity made it difficult, especially in the last 10-15 minutes of the second half. It was difficult and certainly not what we are used to back home.”

Dolan Out

WESTMEATH’S worst fears have been confirmed with the news that star forward Dessie Dolan is out for at least three months after he damaged ankle ligaments in Saturday night’s narrow win over Tipperary in the All-Ireland football qualifiers.

Paul Conway is also out for some time after breaking his leg in the Clonmel clash.

“These injuries are serious,” said Westmeath boss Paidi O Se. “Paul Conway is a big player for us and he will be a great loss. Likewise Dessie Dolan. His injury came at a critical stage and Tipperary got back into the game after he left.”

As for the poor Westmeath performance in a narrow win, O Se admitted, “It was a bloody close call. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing. It could give us the shake up we need.

“We didn’t underestimate Tipperary but all the pressure was on us and we had to dig out this result. There was a lot of untidy play out there which will not be good enough from here on.”

Eircom Fight

THE eircom League board of management are to investigate ugly scenes at Tolka Park last Friday night involving Shamrock Rovers manager Roddy Collins and Shelbourne secretary Ollie Byrne.

Eyewitnesses claim Byrne struck Collins several times after a row broke out between the pair over comments made by Collins on the radio in the build-up to the game.

Collins said, “I am concerned about Ollie Byrne – the man is living on a knife-edge. I thought he could take a bit of banter.

“I’m just grateful to Shels boss Pat Fenlon for lending me his shirt as mine was torn to pieces after what happened.”

A statement from the league read, “Following a reported incident prior to Friday night’s Shelbourne vs. Shamrock Rovers Premier Division fixture at Tolka Park, it will fully investigate all aspects of this matter. No further statement will be made at this time.”

Daly Wants Change

CLARE boss Anthony Daly wants the GAA to change the format for the All-Ireland championship and qualifiers once again and introduce a league format with the top four teams qualifying for the semis.

“I really think they could come up with a better system, that we all could be in a league system,” said Daly after his side’s qualifier win over Dublin.

“Let everybody play and the top four get into the All-Ireland semi-finals. I really think there is a market for Saturday night hurling there. I think you would have a great championship. Even if it meant a little bit of the gloss going off the Munster championship, so be it.

“I just feel there is a chance there for the GAA to bring hurling back.”

McGinley’s Open

PAUL McGinley thought he had missed the cut at the US Open on Friday but ended up in a creditable joint 43rd by close of play on Sunday.

“To be honest, this has been a great learning experience for me and I really enjoyed playing the final round with Ernie Els,” said McGinley.

“The fans were great and the galleries were brilliant. It’s been a really positive experience.”

Woodward’s Choice

CLIVE Woodward disappointed more than one Irishman when Geordan Murphy, Gordon D’Arcy, Ronan O’Gara, Denis Hickie, John Hayes, Simon Easterby and Donncha O’Callaghan all featured in Tuesday night’s win for the Lions second string against Southland.

Woodward, who also played Welsh center Gavin Henson in the game, is adamant that no player involved in the midweek match will feature in Saturday’s first test in Christchurch.

GAA Shorts

TIPPERARY ace Philip Maher has been declared fit for Sunday’s Munster hurling final showdown with Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh after surgery on a knee injury. Evan Sweeney is on stand-by for Tipp if corner forward Lar Corbett fails a late fitness test . . .

KILKENNY boss Brian Cody has trimmed his county squad by seven ahead of the Leinster final against Wexford with brothers Jimmy and Ken Coogan, James Fitzpatrick, Sean Dowling, John Maher, Colin Herity and Willie O’Dwyer all discarded. Donnacha Cody, Mickey Fennelly and Stephen Maher have joined the panel . . .

CARLOW boss Liam Hayes has confirmed that center-back Willie Power is out for the rest of the championship after he broke a leg after just seven minutes of Saturday’s All-Ireland football qualifier win against Offaly . . .

DUAL star Redmond Barry is expected to opt for the clash of the ash when the Wexford hurlers meet Kilkenny in the Leinster senior hurling final on Sunday, July 3, just 24 hours after a football qualifier . . .

VAL Fenney and Niall Coyne are injury worries for Galway ahead of their Connacht football final clash with Mayo after the pair were injured on club duty last weekend . . .

DUBLIN could recall midfielder Darren Magee after his return from Australia, but the player is intent on travelling to Boston for the summer and only a call from manager Paul Caffrey will change his mind.

Soccer Shorts

WATERFORD United’s problems compounded on Monday night when manager Alan Reynolds and his coaching staff quit as financial problems dog the South Coast club. Reynolds is now set to sign for Cork City or Shamrock Rovers while Giles Cheevers has been placed in temporary charge of the Blues . . .

ENGLISH defender Jimmy Aggrey has quit Bohs and signed for Woking. Bohs hope to sign Irish youth international Sean Cooney and Blackpool midfielder Simon Wiles. Sunderland have renewed their interest in Bohemians’ teenage striker Stephen Ward . . .

EVERTON have made an official inquiry about the availability of Tottenham’s Irish striker Robbie Keane and are also interested in Craig Bellamy now that his loan deal at Celtic has come to an end . . .

JOHN O’Shea, with three years to run on his existing deal, has turned down the offer of a new contract at Manchester United after starting just 16 games in the season just ended. Liverpool and Newcastle are monitoring the situation . . .

WALSALL boss Paul Merson has offered former Irish captain Steve Staunton a two-year deal as player-coach. Current club Coventry are keen to sign Stan for another year but only as a player . . .

FORMER Celtic captain Paul Lambert has persuaded Irish under-21 defender Paul Tierney to become one of his first signings as Livingston manager despite strong interest from Swindon Town . . .

ANDY O’Brien will be available to Brian Kerr for the make or break date with France in September after FIFA confirmed he will receive only a mandatory one match ban for his farcical red card against Israel . . .

THE Setanta Cup is to be expanded to feature eight teams, four from either side of the border, next season . . .

CORK City and UCD are into the last eight of the eircom League Cup after victories over Kilkenny City and Shamrock Rovers respectively on Monday night.

 
 


 
 
 
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