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Cavan star banned after 'sectarian' comments

By Declan Bogue

Cavan have been handed a two-game suspension for midfielder Gearoid McKiernan, after the referee's report of their victory over Monaghan contained details about "comments of a sectarian nature".

Breffni county officials now have the option of appealing against the two-game ban, applicable to action in the same competition.

However, seeing as his red card has automatically ruled McKiernan out of tonight's Dr McKenna Cup semi-final against neighbours Fermanagh, that might be unlikely. This is believed to be the first instance that a red card has been deployed as punishment for either racist or sectarian abuse, after the GAA changed the rule at last year's Congress at Croke Park in February.

Meanwhile, Tyrone have named an experimental-looking side for their semi-final against Armagh tonight in the Athletic Grounds (throw-in 8pm).

After having played for Jordanstown in the group stages, Matthew Donnelly and Ronan O'Neill return to take up the centre-back and centre-forward positions respectively. Conal McCann, who played for St Mary's in the group stages, makes his inter-county debut and PJ Lavery starts his first game of the year.

Armagh have named a more established team with Philip McEvoy in goal and Jamie Clarke restored to the full-forward line after a brief experiment at wing-back.

Belfast Telegraph

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