Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton out of the Leinster final
Dublin goalkeeper suffered an injury in semi-final win over Longford last week
Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton is fouled by James McGivney of Longford during the Leinster semi-final. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho
The Dublin captain – who hasn’t missed a championship game since 2004 – suffered bruising to the ribs in the 22nd minute when Longford full-forward James McGivney pole-axed Cluxton in mid-air, after the Dublin goalkeeper came out to punch a dropping ball clear.
McGivney was sent off for his over-enthusiasm – while Cluxton was immediately replaced by Evan Comerford. It was Cluxton’s first time not finishing a championship game for Dublin since his sending off against Armagh in 2003, for which he served a suspension the following year in the 2004 Leinster quarter-final against Westmeath, which Dublin lost.
Dublin manager Gavin had initially described the injury as “a blow to the lower-back”: clearly in some discomfort, the rib injury will require between three to four weeks recovering, which should still have Cluxton back between the posts in time for the Super-8s, which begin on July 14th/15th, should of course Dublin get that far.
For Comerford, from Ballymun Kickhams, it was therefore a first championship appearance, and it turned out he hadn’t a single save to make against a Longford team by then down to 14 men.
Dublin will be seeking their 13th Leinster football title in 14 years on Sunday week, Laois only their second in 72 years. Laois defender and captain Stephen Attride will definitely miss the Croke Park showdown after sustaining a double fracture to his skull in their semi-final win over Carlow on Sunday.