Nemo Rangers’ Larry Kavanagh admits Paddy Gumley is only ‘50-50’ for club final

Corner-forward Paddy Gumley is Nemo Rangers’ sole injury concern ahead of the All-Ireland club SFC final against Corofin on St Patrick’s Day.

The Cavan native injured his calf on the Wednesday before their All-Ireland semi-final against Slaughtneil and managed just 21 minutes of the tie.

The 35-year old attacker will not train with the team this week and manager Larry Kavanagh reckons Gumley has a “50-50 chance” of being fit for the decider

“I envisage it will be very similar to the semi-final where we don’t make any decision on Paddy until the last minute,” said Kavanagh.

“He might do a bit of kicking next week. But if there is only going to be 20 or 30 minutes in him, you might as well keep that until Saturday as opposed to getting that out of him when seeing what he is like on the Thursday beforehand.

“It was the Wednesday before the Slaughtneil game when Paddy kicked a ball towards the end of the session and felt his calf. We held off on making a call on him until the last minute. Out on the pitch at O’Moore Park, he said he was okay. We knew it was a risk, but we said we’d go with him. After 15 minutes or so, the calf went. It is unfortunate that Paddy has picked up this injury because he has been going well and the space of Croke Park would suit him.”

Goalkeeper Micheál Aodh Martin was withdrawn seven minutes into the second period of extra-time during the win over Slaughtneil. but Kavanagh said the groin injury which forced his removal is no longer an issue.

“We should have taken Micheál off earlier but he didn’t want to come off. He was taking a kick-out, grimaced, and it went 10 yards shorter than it normally would. We, on the line, agreed at that point he was only doing damage to himself, so we brought in Ross [Donovan]. His groin was actually at him before the game but he kept that relatively quiet.”

Storm Emma, according to Kavanagh, proved something of a blessing in disguise as it forced his players to ease off for a couple of days.

“We wanted to give them a break for a night or two to come back down from the Slaughtneil win, but these lads won’t accept any sort of a break. If you gave them time off, they’d just go out themselves.

“Last week, they couldn’t do anything. We did a recovery session on Tuesday. We were set to go back training on Thursday and Sunday. There was no session on Thursday because of the weather and Sunday’s session was indoors.

“The important thing now is we get back out on the pitch soon. What we want is two good sessions on Tuesday and Thursday and an A versus B match on Saturday. If we get that we’ll be grand.”

Meanwhile, Corofin hope their appeal against the red card picked up by Martin Farragher after just 80 seconds of their semi-final win over Moorefield will be heard this week and that the full-forward will be cleared to play in the final. A combination of the weather and GAA committees changing under new president John Horan have meant that there has been little action on the appeal.

“We will follow the process and hope that it will be successful and that Martin will be available to play in the final,” said club chairman Michael Ryder. “We expect to hear from Croke Park this week and we will go from there.”

Corofin, the five-in-a-row Galway champions, returned to training yesterday at their Belclare pitch in the parish and had a full session.

“The grass on the pitch was actually cut on Tuesday. It was covered in snow all week after that but it was perfect for training this morning,” added Ryder.

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