Na Fianna to appeal ejection

NA FIANNA will appeal the decision by the Dublin County Board to eject them from the county championship, following their use of six substitutes in their quarter-final against Raheny last weekend.

The Glasnevin club held an executive meeting last night to formalise plans for their appeal. While some inside the club admit they messed up against Raheny, there is a strong feeling that they did nothing to merit the punishment of having their Dublin and

Leinster titles stripped from them.

Na Fianna are targeting their fourth Dublin title in a row this year. It is believed they will use the precedent of Cork footballers, who used six substitutes in the Munster final but pointed out that there was no punishment in the rule book for infringing on the blood replacement rule.

Meanwhile, the Dublin championship was thrown into further disarray yesterday as Kilmacud Crokes objected to John Divilly's eligibility to play in last weekend's quarter-final. Crokes were beaten by the students in the most dramatic way, as UCD scored two goals and a point in the final three minutes to emerge by a point. However, the Stillorgan club say that Divilly, who will be conferred later this week after graduating last May, is now only eligible to play for Leixlip, where he now lives, and not UCD. Under current rules, past students are allowed a grace year to play for their clubs in the county championships, so if Divilly had registered as a student in the academic year of 2001-2002, his year of grace would allow him to play in the Dublin club championship this year.

Crokes' objection, however, lies in the fact that Divilly, now resident in Leixlip, is not eligible to play for St Mary's Leixlip and UCD. The case was heard late last night.

Meanwhile, while the public mightn't realise it, Munster's hurlers are targeting their third successive Railway Cup title in Kilkenny this weekend. Not that anyone, including the powers-that-be, seems too interested anymore. Nobody, that is, expect the players. Munster manager Ted Owens says the commitment he has received from the his players over the past few weeks has been unbelievable. Despite the onset of winter, most of the Munster panel convened in Thurles on Tuesday night. Beneath floodlights and rain, the cream of Munster's hurlers participated in a physical training session. "Everyone is anxious to play this weekend," Owens said. "We are competing with club championship games and injuries, but everyone who was invited onto the panel has given their utmost commitment."

By point of illustration, Owens uses the example of Cork goalkeeper Dónal Óg Cusack, who spent a few hours stuck in traffic, trying to make it to Thurles on Tuesday night. He has done the same for the past four years, only to sit on the bench.

"Donal is just one example, everybody has shown a desire to play for Munster," Ownes said. Ideas are currently being bandied around Central Council, in an effort to save the ailing event. At a basic level, the weekend's attractive fixtures should help. Munster begin their defence against Ulster on Saturday, always a competitive encounter as Ulster hurlers see it as a chance to shine. Meantime, Munster's main rivals, Leinster, will have to do without the services of their Young Irelands and Birr contingent, as both clubs play in the Leinster championship this weekend. That means no DJ Carey, boosting Munster's chances of a hat-trick Even without the likes of Carey and Brian Whelahan, Leinster will field a strong side this weekend, and include 11 of the All-Ireland champions, with Peter Barry, Noel Hickey, Andy Comerford and Henry Shefflin providing the spine of the team. MUNSTER (v Ulster): B. Cummins (Tipperary), W. Sherlock (Cork), D. O'Sullivan (Cork), P. Maher (Tipperary), E. Corcoran (Tipperary), S. McMahon (Clare), S. Óg Ó hAilpín (Cork), P. Queally (Waterford), T. Dunne (Tipperary), T. Griffin (Clare), K. McGrath (Waterford), B. Dunne (Tipperary), B. O'Connor (Cork), B. Begley (Limerick), J. Deane (Cork).

Subs: D. Óg Cusack (Cork), D. Hoey (Clare), B. Greene (Waterford), T. Browne (Waterford), P. O'Connell (Kerry), E. Kelly (Waterford), O. McGrath (Waterford), A. O'Shaughnessy (Limerick), S. McGrath ( Cork), O. Moran (Limerick).

LEINSTER (v Connacht): J. McGarry (Kilkenny); M Kavanagh (do.), N Hickey (do.), D. O'Connor (Wexford), R. Mulally (Kilkenny), P. Barry (do.), J.J. Delaney (do.); D. Lyng (do.), A. Comerford (do.); B. McEvoy (do.) , H. Shefflin (do.), C. Keaney (Dublin), R. McCarthy (Wexford), E. Brennan (Kilkenny), B. Murphy (Offaly).

Subs: D. Fitzhenry (Wexford), R. Mallon (Wexford), J. Brady (Offaly), K. Martin (Offaly), N. Rigney (Laois), J. Hoyne (Kilkenny), D. Hyland (Wicklow), J. Coogan (Kilkenny), M. Jordan (Wexford), S. Martin (Dublin), L. Ryan (Dublin), L. Murphy (Wexford), B. Carroll (Dublin).

ULSTER (vs Munster): D. Quinn (Antrim), M. Kettle (do.), C. Kelly (do.), E. McKeever (Derry), M. McCambridge (Antrim), G. Savage (Down), C. Herron (Antrim), K. McKeegan (do.), J. Connolly (do.), C. McCambridge (do.), C. McGuickan (do.), L. Richmond (do.), P. Braniff (Down), P. Richmond (Antrim), B. McFall (Antrim).

Subs: G. Clarke (Down), J. Campbell (Antrim), J. Adair (Down), N. Sands (Down), G. McGrattan (Down), M. Coulter (Down), D. Magill (Derry), S. Wilson (Down), P. McCormack (Armagh), A. Mort (Antrim), S. Delagry (Antrim).

Angry Tompkins wants shake up of Allstars selection process Brendan Larkin

FURIOUS Cork coach Larry Tompkins has called for a radical shake up of the Allstars nomination process following the surprise omission of Rebel midfielder Graham Canty.

"How any group of journalists could leave Graham out is beyond me," Tompkins said yesterday. He said the selection process should be taken out of the hands of the media.

The Bantry utility man is arguably the most surprising absentee from the football nominations, with Benny Tierney (Armagh) also a surprise omission from the list of goalkeepers.

"I'm completely lost for words at the decision," said Tompkins. "When I saw the list in the papers yesterday, I could not believe Graham was not included.

"I felt all along that both he and Colin Corkery would be automatically included on the actual 15. It's an absolute disgrace that Graham has failed to even get a nomination.

"Canty has had a great season with Cork and was by far the most consistent player we had all year. He was a joy and a pleasure to work with and I'm completely mystified at his omission.

"The present system of selection is ridiculous and should be changed. With respect to the media, they don't always get it right, even when they are forecasting the results of matches.

"I would prefer to see a panel of

former players making the decision on who should get an All-Star nomination. Another way would be to get all the team managers to pick the players.

"After all, they are best positioned to see most players as they run up against them throughout the championship. The current system is an absolute joke when you see players like Graham Canty not even get a nomination.

"His name was on everyone's lips during our run this year and he deserves to be better treated. I'm shocked that he is not included.

"I wouldn't like to see the All-Stars disbanded. It's a tremendous honour for a player to make the team after a long, hard season. It's the method of selection I'm against. There must surely be a better and more professional way of picking the players for nomination and later for the actual 15."

Tompkins is still keeping his counsel on his own future with Cork. He added yesterday that he is due to meet with the county board executive shortly to iron out a few things.

Tompkins has one year of a two year tenure left as coach to the team.

Meanwhile, Cork's Central Council representative, Bob Honohan, has expressed his dismay at the special congress decision to increase the number of intercounty panels from 24 to 30 players.

"Increasing the number of players in a squad does not make sense to me from any point of view and will add an enormous financial burden on county boards already struggling to make ends meet," he said.

"Is there any sense in Cork travelling to Dungannon for a National League match with 30 players, nine of whom can play no part in the game, while their clubs have to fulfil their domestic league fixtures?"

Mr Honohan predicted that the involvement of 30-players at intercounty level will guarantee the suspension of club championship games during the summer.

"So much for the club being the bedrock of the association," he said

More in this section

CourtsGaaFootballPlace: LeixlipPlace: 's LeixlipPlace: KilkennyPlace: ThurlesPlace: TipperaryPerson: NaPerson: John DivillyPerson: DivillyPerson: Crokes'Person: Ted OwensPerson: OwensPerson: Dónal Óg CusackPerson: DonalPerson: CareyPerson: Brian WhelahanPerson: Peter BarryPerson: Noel HickeyPerson: Andy ComerfordPerson: Henry ShefflinPerson: B. CumminsPerson: W. SherlockPerson: D. O'SullivanPerson: P. MaherPerson: E. CorcoranPerson: S. McMahonPerson: S. Og O hAilpinPerson: P. QueallyPerson: T. DunnePerson: T. GriffinPerson: K. McGrathPerson: B. DunnePerson: B. O'ConnorPerson: B. BegleyPerson: J. DeanePerson: D. Og CusackPerson: D. HoeyPerson: B. GreenePerson: T. BrownePerson: P. O'ConnellPerson: E. KellyPerson: O. McGrathPerson: A. O'ShaughnessyPerson: S. McGrathPerson: O. MoranPerson: J. McGarryPerson: M KavanaghPerson: N HickeyPerson: D. O'ConnorPerson: R. MulallyPerson: P. BarryPerson: J.J. DelaneyPerson: D. LyngPerson: A. ComerfordPerson: B. McEvoyPerson: H. ShefflinPerson: C. KeaneyEvent: Munster finalEvent: Dublin ChampionshipEvent: Dublin club championshipEvent: Railway CupEvent: Leinster championshipOrganisation: Dublin County BoardOrganisation: RahenyOrganisation: GlasnevinOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: LeinsterOrganisation: FiannaOrganisation: CorkOrganisation: KilmacudOrganisation: CrokesOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: StillorganOrganisation: MunsterOrganisation: UlsterOrganisation: Young IrelandsOrganisation: BirrOrganisation: TipperaryOrganisation: ClareOrganisation: WaterfordOrganisation: KerryOrganisation: LimerickOrganisation: ConnachtOrganisation: KilkennyOrganisation: Wexford
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