Fears for Clifford's fitness allayed by Cork manager


Gaelic Games Digest: Cork football  Fears that Cork forward Philip Clifford might have picked up a serious injury have been dispelled by manager Billy Morgan, reports Seán Moran.

Clifford was playing for his club Bantry Blues on Saturday when he took a knock to his knee, an injury that has caused the player a lot of trouble in the past.

Cork face Kerry in Sunday week's All-Ireland football semi-final.

"I was talking to Philip and he doesn't believe that it's serious," said Morgan. "He felt a twinge and took himself off because his team were winning comfortably at the time. It was just a precaution."

DUBLIN FOOTBALL: Dublin have a clean bill of health after the weekend's All-Ireland quarter-final draw with Tyrone.

"Ciarán Whelan got a nasty bang in the ribs towards the end of the match," according to team selector Dave Billings, "but he'll be fine. There's no other worries and any knocks and bruises will clear up over the next two weeks."

ARMAGH FOOTBALL: Central Council have overruled the four-week suspensions imposed on Armagh duo CiaráMcKeever and Paul McGrane by the central disciplinary committee enabling both to play in this Saturday's All-Ireland quarter-final against Laois, writes Gavin Cummiskey.

McKeever was expected to have his case overturned after Tyrone's Ryan McMenamin was freed from suspension by the disputes resolution authority (DRA) last week. However, McGrane getting off without a ruling from the DRA is surprising considering his charge of striking was not dealt with by the referee during the Ulster final replay, while both McMenamin and McKeever were yellow carded.

"In view of the technical and legal point which arose as a result of the McMenamin case and the advice of the GAA's legal advisors, it was decided unanimously in the circumstances to reinstate both players and not to pursue these cases," read a statement issued by Croke Park. "The technical and legal points referred to will be addressed as a matter of expediency."

This was a reference to the loophole that allows video evidence to be used to exonerate a player but not if the referee has already addressed the matter on the field.

CONGRESS: Central Council have decided to hold next year's Congress in Killarney on April 21st and 22nd and Kilkenny have indicated that they wish to host Congress in 2007.

CHRISTY RING CUP: Keith Higgins and Kevin Healy scored two goals apiece as Mayo beat Derry by 4-14 to 1-10 in the Christie Ring Cup relegation final at Markievicz Park on Saturday.

Higgins put Kevin Healy through for the first goal after 11 minutes before Higgins himself struck for goals in the 21st and 25th minutes to help Mayo into a 3-9 to 0-4 half-time lead. John O'Dwyer scored a goal for Derry in the 61st minute but by that stage the game was beyond the Ulster side's reach

SCORERS: Mayo: K Higgins (2-3), K Healy (2-2), A Freeman (0-4, frees), S Broderick, (0-2), S Leneghan (0-2), G White (0-1). Derry: J O'Dwyer (1-3), Gregory Biggs, (0-3, two frees, one 65), R Convery (0-2) S McBride, (0-1) C Quinn (0-1)