Dublin star Diarmuid Connolly returns to club action

Diarmuid Connolly made a return to competitive action when coming on as a second-half substitute for St Vincent’s in their Dublin Adult Hurling League Division 1 encounter against Craobh Chiaráin at Páirc Naomh Uinsionn last night.

There has been much speculation about the five-time All- Ireland football winner in recent months as he has failed to appear for both club and county since been used as a second-half substitute in Dublin’s league victory over Mayo in Castlebar on February 24.

Jim Gavin insisted at yesterday’s launch for the Leinster Senior Football Championship that the door would always remain open for Connolly but his appearance last night still came as a surprise given the relatively low-key nature of the fixture.

He was introduced around the three quarter mark at wing-forward and looked in reasonably good shape as St Vincent’s eased to a comfortable 1-18 to 1-11 victory.

Meanwhile Offaly manager Stephen Wallace has failed in his bid to have a 12-week-ban overturned in his native Kerry.

This suspension means he looks set to miss their Leinster opener against Wicklow on Sunday week and precludes him from being involved in all grades and codes for a three month period from May 3.

Wallace was one of a number of suspensions issued by disciplinary chiefs following an intermediate championship tie between John Mitchels and Ardfert in March. Wallace, a former player and manager with Ardfert, took his case to the County Hearings Committee on Thursday but was unsuccessful in his appeal with the ban dated from the night of that meeting. It is understood he may consider appealing the decision to the Munster Council.

Elsewhere RTÉ confirmed they will be televising the second round Munster SHC game between Tipperary and Cork in Semple Stadium on Sunday, May 27.

However, Sky Sports will be showing the Cork-Limerick SHC match on June 2, as revealed by the Irish Examiner in April.

Up to yesterday, live coverage of Cork hurlers’ first of at least two trips to Thurles this summer remained uncertain and earlier this week it had been erroneously stated on the Munster GAA website that their hosting of Limerick in Páirc Uí Chaoimh would be shown live by RTÉ. However that mistake was corrected yesterday following the release of RTÉ’s official live championship coverage list. Seven of the 11 matches in the Munster SHC will be televised live by RTÉ, while more could be streamed on the RTÉ website.

As they devote more of their 25 championship game exclusive package to the provincial hurling round robin series and the Super 8 competition, RTÉ will show just one live football qualifier and only seven provincial football championship matches compared to 14 last year. That seven includes the four provincial finals.

RTÉ Live Championship Coverage:

Sunday, May 13: Dublin v Kilkenny (hurling, 2pm); Mayo v Galway (football, 4pm), Sunday May 20: Limerick v Tipperary (h, 2pm), Cork v Clare (h, 4pm); Sunday, May 27: Tipperary v Cork (h, 2pm), Galway v Kilkenny (h, 4pm); Sunday, June 3: Fermanagh/Armagh v Tyrone/Monaghan (f, 2pm), Waterford v Tipperary (h, 4pm); Sunday, June 10: Limerick v Waterford or Tipperary v Clare (h), Offaly/Wicklow/Dublin v Longford/Meath (f); Sunday, June 17: Clare v Limerick or Waterford v Cork (h, 2pm); Connacht SFC final (4pm); Saturday, June 23: Munster SFC final (7pm); Sunday, June 24: Ulster SFC final (2pm), Leinster SFC final (4pm); Sunday, July 1: Munster SHC final (2pm), Leinster SHC final (4pm); Sunday, July 8: All-Ireland SFC qualifier, round four (3pm); Saturday, July 14: All-Ireland SFC quarter-final phase 1 (7pm); July 15, Two of All-Ireland SHC quarter-finals and All-Ireland SFC quarter-final phase 1 (2pm, 4pm); Sunday July 22: All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals, phase 2 (2pm, 4pm); Saturday, July 28: All-Ireland SHC semi-final (5pm); Sunday, July 29: All-Ireland SHC semi-final 3.30pm; Saturday, August 4: All-Ireland Senior Camogie quarter-finals (5.30pm, 7.15pm); Sunday, August 5: All-Ireland SFC quarter-final, phase 3 (3.30pm); Saturday, August 11: All-Ireland SFC semi-final (5pm); Sunday, August 12: All-Ireland SFC semi-final (3.30pm); Saturday, August 18: All-Ireland Senior Camogie semi-finals (5pm, 7pm); Sunday, August 19: All-Ireland SHC final (3.30pm); Sunday, September 2: All-Ireland SFC final (3.30pm); Sunday, September 9: All-Ireland Senior and Intermediate Camogie finals (2pm, 4pm).


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