Irish Daily Mail

All-Ireland will throw in early to avoid soccer clash

- By PHILIP LANIGAN

THIS year’s All-Ireland SFC final will throw-in at 3pm on Saturday, September 4, with an earlier than usual time to avoid a clash with Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan which kicks off at 5pm in the Aviva Stadium on the same day. The postponed KerryTyron­e All-Ireland semifinal is also set to have a 3pm start on Saturday week, having been postponed due to Covid-19 cases in the Tyrone camp. There is still an air of uncertaint­y over the Kerry-Tyrone fixture with the Red Hand County’s joint manager Brian Dooher admitting it ‘would be a struggle’ to get the team ready in time due to player availabili­ty. The first of this year’s football semi-finals takes place on Saturday in front of a permitted crowd of 24,000 when All-Ireland champions Dublin meet Mayo at 6pm at Croke Park in a repeat of last December’s decider. Meanwhile, Limerick are set to contest the red card handed out to cornerforw­ard Peter Casey which would rule him out of the All-Ireland SHC final against Cork. Casey was sent off by referee John Keenan on the advice of an umpire after an off-the-ball tussle with Waterford’s Conor Gleeson when there seemed to be a collision of heads. A meeting of the GAA’s Central Hearings Committee is likely this week with the option of a full appeal also open to the All-Ireland champions.

ROSCOMMON U-20 manager Liam Tully has admitted the ongoing threat of the pandemic is ‘frightenin­g’ and has praised his young players for largely avoiding the virus. Tully has guided the Rossies to Sunday’s EirGrid All-Ireland decider though as if to underline the continued threat posed by the Covid-19 virus, the KerryTyron­e senior game originally scheduled for Croke Park has been postponed due to an outbreak in the Red Hands’ camp. Young, unvaccinat­ed people appear to be most vulnerable to catching the virus, though Tully said most of his players are vaccinated and he praised the ‘honesty’ of their dealings with him so far on the issue. ‘The majority of them are vaccinated, well, maybe a few are just off the second [dose], but we’ve worked hard on that,’ said Tully. ‘They’re a great group of lads for minding themselves. We did have a number of problems and that’s normal. Honesty, for me, was key to this. ‘We spoke to them on many occasions in relation to it that if they felt they were [compromise­d], if they hear of anybody that may have been a close contact then just put themselves in caution, talk to us and we’ll work with them and that was key. ‘We were lucky on a few occasions, like everyone, to come out the right side of it so far but it is frightenin­g. It absolutely is frightenin­g. We all think, “Oh sure we’re not going to get it” but so far we have been lucky.’ Offaly manager Declan Kelly said that he had the pandemic in mind when he ushered his celebratin­g players off the field quickly after their semi-final win over Cork. ‘We just decided we’d get them off as quick as we could and just get them into our own area again and hopefully there wouldn’t be any cases out of it,’ said Kelly.

 ??  ?? Disruption: Brian Dooher
Disruption: Brian Dooher

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