Down players may appeal ban for playing in New York


Two Down players who broke GAA regulations about playing in the United States have been suspended for a year and six months respectively by the Games Administration Committee in Croke Park. Paul Higgins has been suspended for a year and Gregory McCartan for six months. The players are expected to appeal to Central Council.

The problem of players going to the United States continues to bedevil the GAA. On this occasion it appears that the players were cleared to play in the North American jurisdiction, but also played in New York without proper clearance. The North American Board of the GAA has jurisdiction in all of the US with the exception of New York.

Two other players, both from Donegal, have been given an opportunity to appear before the GAC to explain how it came about that they had also played in the US. They claim that they did so inadvertently and have genuine explanations to offer the committee.

It is understood that a number of suspensions have also been handed down following the National League match between Armagh and Donegal in Lurgan on November 16th, but the length of the suspensions have not been announced until the players have been informed. In that match, which Donegal won by 0-12 to 31, Donegal's Shane Bradley and Martin Coll and Cathal O'Rourke and Kieran McGeeney of Armagh were sent off.

There had been several skirmishes during the match during which the Armagh full back, Colm Hanratty was carried off the pitch with a broke leg.

Kerry's shock defeat by Sligo last weekend is not the only worry for Paidi O Se as his team continues to run into injury problems. Just five minutes before the end of Sunday's match Killian Burns had to leave the pitch injured. A broken collar bone was later diagnosed which means that Burns will be out for several months.

The Kildare manager, Mick O'Dwyer, has received some good news after Sunday's exciting win over Wicklow. At first it was feared the Glen Ryan was seriously injured when he had to be carried off the pitch towards the end of the match, but it has now transpired that his knee injury is not as bad as feared. He has strained ligaments, but he has not ruled out the possibility of being fit to play in Kildare's next National League match against Down on Sunday week.

The postponed Munster club football semi-final between Castlehaven from Cork and Laune Rangers from Kerry has been refixed and takes place in Castlehaven on Sunday at 2.30. If Castlehaven win, the final against Fethard will be on Sunday 14th in Fermoy, while if Laune Rangers win, the match will be played at Pairc Ui Rinn.

The Munster club hurling final between Clarecastle from Clare and Patrickswell from Limerick goes on at Thurles on Sunday next, also with a 2.15 throw-in.