Saturday 24 March 2018

McCarthy decision hits Dubs selection

DUBLIN footballers will be forced into an 11th hour team change for tomorrow night’s NFL trip to Laois after James McCarthy failed to convince Croke Park disciplinary chiefs that his recent red card against Mayo should be rescinded.

McCarthy was originally named at wing-back after his date before the Central Hearings Committee, pencilled in for last night, was postponed until 7.30 this morning.

But the Ballymun Kickhams defender was unsuccessful at today’s reconvened hearing. “He is being issued with a one-match ban which will be served on Saturday,” confirmed Dublin chairman Andy Kettle. “We would feel we got a fair hearing.”

Speaking earlier today, Pat Gilroy reiterated his belief that McCarthy was “protecting himself” instead of intentionally elbowing an opponent.

“But look, if someone has a different opinion on it, we’ll accept that,” he added.

Gilroy has several alternatives to replace McCarthy, including All Star Kevin Nolan, Darragh Nelson, Davy Byrne and Seán Murray, but the hamstrung Cian O’Sullivan is likely to be out for another two weeks.

The Dubs have made three other changes, with Eamon Fennell recalled for Michael Darragh Macauley (who is carrying a slight knock), while Michael Savage and Paul Flynn replace the rested Stephen Cluxton and Bryan Cullen.

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