MEATH have requested a Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) hearing in a bid to clear their five suspended players to face Wexford on Sunday week.
In a surprising move the Royals backtracked on indications given ahead of last weekend’s 20 point win over Carlow that they would let the matter lie.
The five players – captain Brendan Murphy, defenders Shane McAnarney, Niall McKeigue and Seamus Kenny and midfielder Nigel Crawford – were given eight-week bans for their part in the Parnell Park fracas with Dublin.
They’ve already failed with appeals to the Central Appeals Committee (CAC) but discussed the matter with county officials on Monday night and have agreed to engage the DRA.
A written request was submitted to the DRA yesterday by Meath chiefs in advance of last night’s deadline. County Chairman Barney Allen confirmed the move and said that Meath will argue that proper procedure wasn’t followed in handing down the suspensions.
That’s understood to relate to the allegation that a Wexford official who was part of the disciplinary process had a conflict of interests as the bans rule the players out of the June 1 tie with Wexford.
“There are a few procedural things that we’re still not happy with and that’s why we’ve decided to go to the DRA,” said Allen.
“All the five lads have decided to go forward with this and we’ve submitted our request for a hearing.”
If successful the players would be free to return against Wexford with four of the five likely to be recalled to the first team.
If the DRA upholds the suspensions the players would sit out their second game but would be eligible for a Leinster semi-final or All-Ireland qualifier tie.
Meanwhile Brendan Quigley is a doubt for Laois’ Leinster SFC opener against Wicklow on May 31 after a workplace accident.
Quigley was rushed to Portlaoise General Hospital after he fell through a skylight at a site in Timahoe where he was working as a carpenter.
He is understood to have suffered serious concussion and facial injuries and is not due to be released from hospital until next weekend.
Meanwhile, Limerick boss Mickey O’Sullivan has handed out four championship debuts for Sunday’s Munster SFC clash with Tipperary in Fermoy (3.30pm). Stephen Walsh comes in at left corner back while Kieran O’Callaghan (captain), Dermot Phelan and Ian Ryan, form a new full forward line.
Fermanagh boss Malachy O’Rourke is concerned about the fitness of Shane Lyons ahead of their Ulster SFC clash with Monaghan in Enniskillen. Lyons fractured his cheek-bone in a recent challenge against Offaly and the manager will assess his fitness before naming his team this afternoon. However Shane McCabe has made a surprise return to the Fermanagh squad for the Brewster Park tie. McCabe missed the national league campaign due to his commitments with Irish League soccer side Glentoran.
Opponents Monaghan make just one change from the team that started their last league game against Westmeath with the return of Shane Duffy in goals in place of Pádraig McBennett.
Laois manager Damian Fox has included two championship debutants in the team to play Offaly in Sunday’s Leinster SHC quarter-final at O’Moore Park. An injury to Simon Norton opened the door for Camross clubman Colin Delaney at midfield while Noel Costelloe will start in the left corner forward position. Fox has had to plan for the Offaly tie without centre half back Matthew Whelan and centre forward James Young, both of whom sustained cruciate knee ligament damage recently.
Offaly coach Joe Dooley is concerned about the fitness of Joe Bergin and Rory Hannify. Bergin has seriously damaged a finger while Hannify is struggling with a hamstring injury.
Dooley hopes to name his team tonight.
Sligo boss Tommy Jordan has been handed some positive news regarding injuries even though he will be without his captain Noel McGuire and Kevin Byrne for the trip to Ruislip on Sunday to play London in the opening round of the Connacht SFC. Brendan Egan and Kenneth Sweeney are nearing full fitness after shaking off knocks. “We haven’t picked up any more injuries in any of the challenge games we’ve played and are looking forward to opening the defence of our title,” said Jordan.
MONAGHAN (SF v Fermanagh): S Duffy, D Mone, J Paul Mone, D McArdle, D Freeman, D Hughes, P McGuigan, E Lenon, P Finlay, D Clerkin, S Gollogly, C McManus, R Woods, V Corey, T Freeman.
LAOIS (SH v Offaly): P Mullaney; J.A. Delaney, B Campion, C Dunne; J Fitzpatrick, J Phelan, C Coonan; J Walsh, C Delaney; E Browne, E Holohan, W Hyland; J Brophy, T Fitzgerald, N Costelloe.
LIMERICK (SF v Tipperary): S. Kiely; D. Carroll, J. McCarthy, S. Walsh; P Browne, S. Lavin, P. Ranahan; T. Cahill, J. Galvin; S. Kelly, J. Ryan, S. Buckley; K. O’Callaghan (Captain), D. Phelan, I. Ryan.
Subs: M. Jones, S. Gallagher, G. Collins, A. Lane, M. Crowley, J. Cooke, L. O’Dwyer, M. Reidy, M. Marsh, T. Collins, G. Noonan, P. Ahern, E. Keating, C. O’Cruali, J. Donovan, D. McMahon, C. Mullane.
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