Michael Fennelly makes way at midfield for fit again Derek Lyng.
Kildare minor Paul Cribbin is considering a two-year international rookie contract offer from AFL club Collingwood.
Coaching staff with the Pies, who already have Martin Clarke and Kevin Dyas on their books, were very impressed by the 17-year-old’s two-week long trial last month. They have offered him a deal worth an initial Aus $30,000 (€17,000) a year, plus the use of a car. The Balyna teenager is not rushing into any decision as he prepares for the Lilywhites’ provincial decider on Sunday week.
“I haven’t decided yet” he said. “I just want to focus on the Leinster final at the moment.”
Cribbin burst into the national arena with a man-of-the-match performance from midfield for St Mary’s of Edenderry in the All-Ireland Colleges’ SFC final.
He has since been impressive as Kildare’s minors have beaten Wicklow, Wexford and Meath to book a place in the Leinster final for the first time since 2004. He is a brother of senior panellist and U21 attacker, Keith.
Meanwhile Donegal forward Ciaran Bonner looks to have kicked his last ball of the year after his club suspended him for the rest of the season for indiscipline.
Bonner and his Donegal and Glenswilly teammate Neil Gallagher were kicked off the county panel by manager John Joe Doherty on Tuesday for breaches of discipline.
Glenswilly, who are managed by Barry O’Hagan, an All-Ireland winner with Armagh in 2002, followed a similarly hard line with Bonner at a club executive meeting this week and warned Gallagher about his future behaviour.
Gallagher, the 2007 NFL winning captain was injured in a club game a fortnight ago and would not have been fit enough to join Doherty’s panel for this evening’s All-Ireland qualifier against Carlow in Ballybofey. Bonner was a likely starter against Luke Dempsey’s side. Colin Kelly, another clubmate, who last played for Donegal in the 2006 All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Cork at Croke Park, was also suspended by the club for the remainder of the year.
Former All-Star Damian Hayes has emerged as a serious doubt for Galway’s All-Ireland qualifer against Clare in Ennis. The corner-forward suffered a calf injury in the Leinster semi-final loss to Kilkenny and has not been able to train since.
Hayes managed to play for Portumna in the Galway county championship as they completed the group stages with another 100% return by defeating Turloughmore, but the injury has flamed up again this week. Selector John Moylan said there was a serious concern that Hayes might not be available for the crucial clash with Clare.
“It is responding very slowly and while he played for Portumna at the weekend he has not been able to train since the Kilkenny match. We’ll see how it goes over the weekend and into the early part of next week but he is a major doubt at this stage,” said Moylan.
DOWN (SF v London): B McVeigh; C McGovern, K McKernan, D Rafferty; T Hanna, P Murphy, C Garvey; D Gordan, S Kearney; D Hughes, C Maginn, B McArdle; B Coulter, P McCumiskey, J Boyle.
WATERFORD (SF v Meath): T Wall; S Briggs, T O’Gorman, M O’Gorman; E Rockett, L Lawlor, T Grey; S O’Hare, B Phelan; W Hennessy, B Wall, L Ó Lionnain; S Cunningham, G Power, P Hurney.