Ireland’s Series hopes suffer double blow

ANTHONY TOHILL’S task of winning the Cormac McAnallen Cup in Australia became a lot harder at the weekend when Mayo’s Pearce Hanley, pictured, was arrested and Kerry’s Darran O’Sullivan was ruled out of the panel.

AFL star Hanley, who plays with the Brisbane Lions, was fined by the club for an incident in the Australian city on Friday.

The Herald Sun reported the Mayo man had been out with team-mate Sam Sheldon when they were picked up by officers for failing to obey police direction.

The club’s operations manager Dean Warren said: “While this incident was certainly out of character for both Sam and Pearce, both are fully aware of their obligations as Brisbane Lions players, which is why we have taken this action. Sam and Pearce accept and understand they made a poor decision on the night.”

Meanwhile Mid Kerry’s 1-12 to 1-7 extra-time victory over East Kerry in the county championship semi-final has all but ruled O’Sullivan out of contention for the trip.

With the final against Dr Crokes fixed for October 30, two days after the first Test, the Glenbeigh/Glencar clubman has been forced to pick the divisional side over his country.

“I would have loved to go to Australia and play for Ireland,” he said. “I have enjoyed the training with the lads and learning all about a new game. I haven’t given up hope just yet but we have to wait and see. I am in a county final and I am not going to leave the Mid Kerry lads, as much as I would love the experience of going over and playing with the Irish team.”

His cause was not helped by Dr Crokes manager Harry O’Neill who said the match could not be brought forward due to player welfare.

“I know Darran has a dilemma with the Australian trip. But we have to look after the Crokes club and the Crokes players. We’ve Ambrose O’Donovan injured and it would be stupid if I agreed to play a game next week when it’s been fixed for the following week.”

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