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Collins gets marching orders from football championship panel

Michael Collins has become the second Cork referee to be dropped off the GAA’s championship panel.

The Clonakilty man is not among the elite 16 match officials rostered for this summer’s football campaign.

Collins’ exit comes after it broke last month that Cathal McAllister was not included in the hurling panel along with Waterford’s Michael Wadding and Laois’ Anthony Stapleton.

Collins, who refereed the 2001 All-Ireland final between Galway and Meath, was last in charge of a senior inter-county game in March’s Division 2 tie between Longford and Laois.

His last championship appointment came last season when he took charge of the Wexford and Longford first round game in Leinster.

Wexford’s Syl Doyle is the other absentee from last season’s list, having stepped away from the panel of his own volition in January.

Meath’s David Gough, who refereed the Galway-Cork All-Ireland U21 final in Limerick on Saturday, and Fergal Kelly of Longford are the new faces.

They join Banteer’s Conor Lane, the referee in last month’s Division 2 final, as well as Martin Higgins and Barry Cassidy who were all introduced to the group last season and retain their places.

Armagh’s Padraig Hughes remains sidelined with the injury he picked up in the Division 1 game between Donegal and Dublin in Ballybofey last month.

Down’s Ciarán Brannigan will take Hughes’ place until he is fit to return for duty.

McAllister was the most surprising omission from the hurling panel, however. It is believed his handling of the Kilkenny-Tipperary All-Ireland semi-final last year was a factor in axing him from the panel.

2013 CHAMPIONSHIP REFEREES’ PANEL: *Ciarán Brannigan (Down); Barry Cassidy (Derry); David Coldrick (Meath); Maurice Deegan (Laois); Marty Duffy (Sligo); Michael Duffy (Sligo); Derek Fahy (Longford); David Gough (Meath); Rory Hickey (Clare); Martin Higgins (Fermanagh); Fergal Kelly (Longford); Eddie Kinsella (Laois); Conor Lane (Cork); Joe McQuillan (Cavan); Pádraig O’Sullivan (Kerry); Cormac Reilly (Meath). * Replaces Padraig Hughes (Armagh) until Hughes returns from injury.