This is just a quick one to cover a few bit and pieces of news in relation to Sunday week’s All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin.
The first is relates to David Clarke, with the Mayo News reporting (here) that the Ballina goalkeeper is expected to be okay to line out in the semi-final. He was forced off at half-time due to a groin injury picked up in a goalmouth scramble, when he had to rush from the small square to smother a goal attempt by Colm McFadden.
In that piece, it’s also reported that 25,000 tickets for the semi-final were sold in the first two days of this week. It’s now almost certain that this tie will be played in front of a full house at HQ.
The Mayo Advertiser is, though, a bit more downbeat on the injury front, with Colm Gannon quoting County board PRO Aiden McLoughlin who said that both David Clarke and Tom Cunniffe, who had to withdraw from the fray before half-time with a hamstring problem, are still doubtful for Sunday week. Aiden said that it was “touch and go” as to whether or not David Clarke would be available and that it would be next week before things become clearer in relation to Tom Cunniffe’s problem.
The Mayo News reported yesterday (here) that the County Board have decided to appeal Kevin Keane’s red card. I think they’re right to do so, though – as others have said on here already – it’s probably unlikely that he’ll get off.
From what I saw on TV there was a clear strike – a slap, not a very hard one at that – in relation to Murphy’s utterly OTT aggression. When the Donegal captain then started crying for his mammy and the ref consulted his umpires, who would have seen the whole incident clearly, then there was only going to be one outcome.
Murphy should, of course, walked too, on a second yellow (in fact, he should have gone off on a black earlier on) but I guess that’s all water under the bridge now. Good luck to Kevin with his appeal, the hearing for which is set to be heard at some point next week.
Old news, I know, but Joe McQuillan’s appointment as ref for the semi means that it’ll be the third Mayo/Dublin championship match in a row that the Cavan official has handled. In fairness to him, he was okay for both of the last two so let’s hope we’ll be saying the same after this one.
Incidentally, it’s been quite a long time since he’s reffed a match involving us. I’ve just had a quick look back through the archive now and I can’t find any record of his having officiated at any of our matches this year or last year. Which means, then, that the last time he did do a match involving us was the 2013 All-Ireland final.
Want to make a tangible contribution to the cause ahead of the semi-final? Support the Mayo Players Training and Welfare Lotto – full details here.