Relief for Kernan as Meehan targets May return

GALWAY footballers received a huge boost with news the knee injury Michael Meehan sustained against Kerry on Sunday is not as serious as first feared.

The 25-year old will miss the remainder of the league but should be back for the championship opener against New York on May 2.

There were fears Meehan would be out for the year after limping off in theopening half of Sunday’s 2-16 to 1-9 defeat to the Kingdom.

“It is definitely not his cruciate,” manager Joe Kernan said yesterday.

“There is a small tear to his medial ligament and bruising to the bone. He is likely to miss four to six weeks but it is great news.

“I am delighted for him but for the team as well. It’ll give them a real boost going training tonight. It is nearly as good as two points.”

Kernan will be without his two main attackers for Sunday’s relegation clash with Tyrone, Sean Armstrong unlikely to feature again in the league because of a hamstring injury picked up against Cork.

However, the Galway hurlers have suffered a blow ahead of Saturday’s clash with Offaly, forward Iarla Tannian ruled out with a suspected broken bone in his hand.

Meanwhile, Galway manager Alan Mulholland is able to call on nine of the team that he guided to All-Ireland minor success in 2007 for this afternoon’s Connacht U21 semi-final against Sligo in Tuam Stadium, 4pm.

The likes of JJ Greaney, Michael Martin and senior star Paul Conroy should enable them to prevail against a Sligo side backboned by Conor Davey, Niall Judge and David Maye. In the other semi-final Mayo face Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park at 4pm. Seniors Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea and Alan Freeman will be key for Ray Dempsey’s men and they get the vote to advance past a Roscommon side whose star turn is attacker Donal Shine.

In Leinster the U21 championship has reached the semi-final stage as well with Westmeath hoping to build on fine recent wins when they face Laois in Mullingar (1.30pm). John Heslin, Conor Lynam and Cian McCormack are their standout operators while Laois will be hoping Paul Cahillane and Donie Kingston can cut loose. In the other semi-final champions Dublin meet Carlow in Dr Cullen Park at 4pm. Dublin have senior players in defenders Rory O’Carroll and James McCarthy and attacker Dean Rock, and that should enable them to see off a Carlow team that will be dependent on main men Brendan Murphy and Daniel St Ledger.

Meanwhile the GAA President’s Award winners for 2010 were announced at a ceremony in Croke Park last night.

GAA PRESIDENT’S AWARDS: Paddy Fitzgerald, (Dungarvan, Waterford), Séamus Spaight, (Meelick, Clare), Jim McGiven, (St Mary’s, Burren, Down), Patsy Forbes, (O’Donovan Rossa, Ardboe, Tyrone), Jarlath Connolly, (Milltown, Galway), Billy Horan, (Ballinrobe, Mayo), Tommy McLoughlin, (Wolfe Tones, Longford), Charlie McAllister, (Newtown Blues, Louth), Mary Donohue, (Harps Camogie, Laois), Seán Clarke, (Beragh Red Knight’s, Tyrone), Christopher Hughes Snr (Limekiln Rounders, Dublin), Cathal Friel, (Coolkenna, Wicklow), John Hughes, (Geevagh, Sligo), Joe Roarke, (Tara, Warwickshire), Harry McEvoy, (Carryduff GAC, Down), Ballylanders GAA Club.

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