Friday 15 December 2017

Dubs report clean bill for Kerry duel

JIM GAVIN has revealed a "clean bill of health" in the Dublin football camp ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry on Sunday week.

The only duo not available for selection will be cruciate victim Tomás Brady and Cormac Costello, and even the latter is making "great progress" from his broken collarbone and was back on the training ground last night.

The Dublin boss today allayed fears over the availability of flying wing-back Jack McCaffrey, who "cut his finger at a session ten days ago". He expressed bemusement at rumours of a Stephen Cluxton hamstring scare (his skipper "trained last night fairly well") and the same scenario applied to defender Darren Daly.

As for the year-long staple about Alan Brogan's readiness for action after his most recent hamstring setback, Gavin revealed: "Alan Brogan is back in training as well but, no more than any other player, he has to prove himself in training ... it's a challenge, absolutely, but he is a very experienced player and a very polished forward - he adds great leadership to the set-up, but he does need to prove himself to the group that he is up to match pace."

PAUDIE O'SULLIVAN is not totally out of contention for some role on All-Ireland hurling final day, according to Cork manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy.

The Cloyne man suffered a horrific double leg break in a club match which was immediately abandoned back in late April and the expectation was that he would not play again this season.

However, speaking at Cork's pre-All-Ireland final press day, Barry-Murphy revealed that O'Sullivan had been working tirelessly in order to make a dramatic comeback and insisted that player was: "still clinging to the hope that he will be in contention."

While admitting that O'Sullivan's bid was "a long shot," Barry-Murphy added "he is letting no stone unturned. He is not ruling himself out, certainly."

Brian Murphy, who has missed Cork's last three Championship ties with a shoulder injury, is, however, very much back in contention after completing a full hour's worth of club action last weekend.

"He could have played in Croke Park (in Cork's All-Ireland semi-final win over Dublin) if we actually needed him but we didn't need him," explained Barry-Murphy. "He has had a couple of extra weeks training and a match so he is training fairly well."

The Cork boss (right) also insisted that he would have no qualms about trusting Hawk-Eye were it utilised during the final, despite last Sunday's minor controversy.

Barry-Murphy insisted: "I'm sure that they will get it right now. I think the use of technology in any sport is a good thing. Obviously, that should not have happened in Croke Park the last day, it was very unfortunate for Limerick and I think human error came into play and I am sure that it will not happen again."

MEATH midfielder Brian Meade looks set to miss the early rounds of next year's Allianz NFL after suffering a cruciate ligament injury playing for Rathkenny in their Meath SFC draw with Skryne in Dunshaughlin last weekend.

OULART-THE BALLAGH'S Aaron Kenny has been called up by the Wexford U21 hurlers for tomorrow's All-Ireland U21 semi-final against Antrim in Thurles.

WEXFORD (U21H v Antrim): B Murphy; G Foley, C Goff, E Conroy; Andrew Kenny, S O'Gorman, D O'Leary; L Chin, Aaron Kenny; J Guiney, I Byrne, G Moore; C McDonald, B Carton, R Clarke.

MAYO (MF v Monaghan): M Mulligan; E Doran, S Cunniffe, D Kenny; M Hall, S Coen, S Conlon; V Roughneen, D O'Connor; C Loftus, M Plunkett, C Hanley; D Doherty, L Irwin, T Conroy.

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