UCD stars may miss refixed Kerry tie with Monaghan

Kerry could be without three of their UCD players for their refixed Division 1 game against Monaghan this Sunday (2.30pm throw-in).

Jack Barry. Pic: Inpho

The counties will try again to lock horns in Inniskeen’s Páirc Grattan this weekend after it failed a second pitch inspection on Sunday morning.

Midfielders Jack Barry and Barry O’Sullivan, along with Brian Ó Seanacháin are all due to line out for UCD in their Sigerson Cup semi-final with Ulster University (UU) tomorrow.

Should UCD reach a third consecutive final, the trio will have a decider to look forward to in Santry on Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours before the Monaghan game.

Monaghan could also be without star forward Conor McCarthy should UCD prevail while the UU team features McCarthy’s county teammate Ryan McAnespie. Should DIT beat NUIG in the other semi-final, then it’s almost certain Ronan Shanahan won’t be available to Fitzmaurice.

As they aim to maintain their 100% record in Division 1 and extend their unbeaten run to eight league matches going back to February last year, Kerry are already without several seasoned players such as Peter Crowley, Kieran Donaghy, David Moran, and Donnchadh Walsh.

The other three matches which were called off two days ago will go ahead at the same venues this Sunday.

As a result of Meath’s Division 2 game against Cavan being rescheduled for the weekend, Meath’s O’Byrne Cup final with Westmeath has been moved again. It was due to take place at Cusack Park this weekend but now takes place on Sunday, March 11.

It means Meath will be in action for the next six weekends, three Division 2 fixtures coming before the O’Byrne Cup final and two following it. Should they make the Division 2 final, it will be seven straight as the decider comes a week after their final-round game against Down.

In Division 3, Derry and Offaly will attempt to face each other once more in Celtic Park, while Sligo and Fermanagh are down again to play in Markievicz Park.

The other senior inter-county football action of the weekend sees the rescheduled Connacht League and McKenna Cup finals take place. The Galway-Roscommon game is scheduled for Hyde Park on Sunday (2.30pm) while the McKenna Cup clash between Donegal and Tyrone has been arranged for Celtic Park the evening previous (6pm).

Meanwhile, the hurling league resumes this weekend with the start of seven consecutive weekends of action. The remaining round matches conclude on March 4 before the Division 1 quarter-finals and relegation play-offs on the weekend of March 9 and 10. The semi-finals take place the following weekend before the Saturday night final on March 24, a day before the final round of the football competition.

GAA chiefs are keeping fingers crossed that hurling fixtures are not hit by bad weather as some football league games have, as it may force the Central Competitions Control Committee to stage a midweek game or even ask counties to play twice in the space of three days.

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