Keane gets the all clear for Dubs encounter

GAA: All Ireland SFC Semi Final

Seeing red: Kevin Keane gets his marching orders in the Donegal game. Photo:Sportsfile

Seeing red: Kevin Keane gets his marching orders in the Donegal game. Photo:Sportsfile

Mayo defender Kevin Keane will now be eligible to play for Mayo in next weekend's All Ireland semifinal clash with Dublin after winning an appeal against his sending off in the dying stages of Mayo's victory over Donegal in the All Ireland quarter final.

The Westport man was given a straight red card on the day, only minutes after entering the field after an altercation with Donegal's Michael Murphy. Keane appeared to strike Murphy in the face, but following an appeal on Wednesday night the red card issued to Keane was downgraded to a yellow by the Central Hearings Committee of the GAA.

This is the second time in as many years that a Mayo defender has successfully appealed a straight red card in the latter stages of the championship, Lee Keegan was successful in getting a red card downgraded in Mayo's drawn All Ireland semi final against Kerry last year and was cleared to play in the following weeks replay.

The news that Keane will be cleared to play some part in the game comes after Mayo were dealt a blow last weekend, when attacker Michael Conroy was ruled out for the rest of the season after injuring his shoulder early on in a club game for Davitts last weekend against Ballintubber. The Mayo management team had let 11 of their 34 man panel take part in club games last weekend to keep up their sharpness as they build up to next weekend's meeting with Dublin.

There was better news on the injury front for Mayo with joint manager Noel Connelly saying earlier this week that he expected both goalkeeper David Clarke and defender Tom Cunniffe to be fully fit for action in Croke Park in nine days time after both had to go off injured in the quarter final victory over Donegal early on in that contest.

Speaking about the injuries Connelly said: "Everybody is fit for selection bar Michael Conroy, who picked up a shoulder injury in his club game on Sunday, unfortunately Michael will be unavailable for selection for the rest of the campaign, which is very disappointing for him and for us." When asked about the exact injury that Conroy suffered, Connelly said: "He dislocated his shoulder in a club game for Davitts against Ballintubber."

As for Clarke and Cunniffee who had to leave the field during their win over Donegal he said, "Tom Cunniffe, from the medical team we believe that he'll be fit for the full match we'll be having on Sunday so hopefully he'll come through that. David Clarke it's hopefully the same, that he'll be fit to take part in the A v B game on Sunday."



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