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DCU set to be understrength for Dubs duel

DCU are again likely to be severely understrength for Wednesday night's O'Byrne Cup meeting with Dublin in Parnell Park (7.30) although their captain, All Star Paul Flynn, should start after coming on as a substitute during yesterday's draw with Wicklow.

Flynn missed some of Dublin's pre-season training with a condition called rectus abdominis, a problem which affects the lower abdominal attachment to the pelvic bone and groin but appeared back to full fitness yesterday and could lead his charges out against Dublin on Wednesday night.

Donegal's All-Ireland winning captain Michael Murphy has returned from Dubai following a team holiday but will not play any part against Dublin, nor will his Tír Chonaill colleague Martin McElhinney.

At present, a third Donegal player - goalkeeper Michael Boyle - is ineligible to play with the college pending a DRA hearing this Friday against a ruling which also looks set to rule out Cork's towering midfielder Aidan Walsh.

A GAA Higher Education Board ruling back in October now prevents players who have studied six years or taken more than two college courses from playing football or hurling at third level. Both Walsh and Boyle fall into that category and both failed in their appeals to the CAC last December.

In any case, neither will be available for Wednesday night and nor will Ballymun Kickhams' trio of James McCarthy, Dean Rock and Davy Byrne, all of whom played no part yesterday.

Manager Niall Moyna confirmed that none will be involved for the duration of their O'Byrne Cup campaign, although they are expected to line out when their Sigerson Cup defence starts at the end of this month.

In addition, Dublin defender Johnny Cooper has a slight hip injury which requires rest and he is unlikely to feature on Wednesday night. Former Aussie Rules recruit Conor Meredith lined out for Laois yesterday in their defeat to Offaly and is therefore ineligible for DCU in the O'Byrne Cup.