Galway hold out on Walsh recovery

 

Galway football manager John O'Mahony is holding out hope that midfielder Kevin Walsh will be fit for Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final against Derry at Croke Park. "He's doing light training and I'd say he's still 50-50. We're hoping but it will be a close call. The calf is torn. Basically, around-the-clock physiotherapy is all that can be done at the moment."

There is some irony in Walsh's predicament. In the past he has faced into a number of big matches with the threat of injury hanging over him. This season, however, it looked as if such concerns were behind him as his form has been consistent and a significant contribution to Galway's progress.

"He's done everything," says O'Mahony, "and has had a clean bill of health all this year. His fitness levels have been high and missing a couple of weeks won't cause him that much of a problem."

Better news for Galway comes with the news that forward Paul Clancy is back in training after a month's absence but O'Mahony concedes that Sunday may be a bit soon for a comeback. The team will be named tomorrow night.

Derry are in the happy position of having no injury worries and a team is expected either tonight or tomorrow. "The squad is going well," says selector Frank Kearney, "so there's no reason to delay selection."

Among the players going well is Enda Gormley, who began the year as a selector but decided to revert to playing a couple of months ago. At this stage the All-Ireland medallist has every chance of playing.

"Enda is a realistic option for a starting place," says Kearney. "He's in better shape than for three or four years and going very well. I'm not saying he will start but he's definitely an option."

Another option is Geoffrey McGonigle, a surprise addition to the panel before the Ulster semifinal against Armagh. The heavyweight Dungiven forward came on in that match and to telling effect in the provincial final against Donegal when he created the opening for Joe Brolly's vital late goal.

"Geoffrey's done a surprising amount of work and gives us another option. He hasn't had the benefit of the winter slog in training but he's working very hard at the moment."

Meanwhile, Clare have confirmed last week's reports that an appeal will be lodged with Croke Park against midfielder Colin Lynch's three-month suspension. The appeal is to Central Council but such hearings are usually held before the Management Committee unless a full council hearing is requested.

If the matter goes to Management, Munster chairman Sean Kelly will have to step aside as a member of the body which imposed the original suspension.

Similarly, when Clare manager Ger Loughnane's allegations of improper proceeding on the part of the Munster Council are investigated by the Games Administration Committee, Frank Murphy, the chairman of the GAC, will step aside as a member of the provincial council under investigation.

The allegations came in a radio interview with Clare FM and were to the effect that the Munster Council had already decided Lynch's punishment before the disciplinary body had considered the matter.

Paul Kelly is ruled out of the Tipperary team to play Cork in the Munster under-21 hurling final in Cork on Sunday. Kelly took a tumble in training which caused a recurrence of a shoulder injury which sidelined him earlier in the year and he will be out of action for some weeks.