Down have been dealt a major blow in advance of the Dr McKenna Cup now that Donal O’Hare, who made a decisive impact in the Ulster Championship, will be unavailable because of a dislocated collar-bone.
O’Hare was injured while playing for Queen’s and consequently missed his club Burren’s defeat to Glenn in the Down U21 final yesterday.
He recently produced one of his best performances of the year when he scored two goals as Burren overcame Mayobridge in the All County league final.
“This is a blow to Down as our manager James McCartan had hoped to have options up front for the McKenna Cup but hopefully Donal will make a speedy return to full fitness.
“He showed his potential this year and obviously the aspiration is that he can further his career in 2013,” said Down spokesman Paul Rooney.
Meanwhile, any notion that yesterday’s Fermanagh All County league final between Tempo and Lisnaskea would prove an end of season amble in the park was dispelled as early as the fourth minute when Lisnaskea’s Conor Curran incurred a straight red card.
A fractious, scrappy contest subsequently unfolded during which overworked referee Niall Cullan flashed red cards to two more Lisnaskea players Mark McKenna and Mark Little in the latter stages while Tempo’s Rory Foy was also despatched for an early bath.
Tempo manager John McElroy, clearly incensed at the manner in which proceedings deteriorated, was banished to the stand while Tempo substitute Ryan Ingram was also shown red.
Tempo won by 1-9 to 0-5 with their goal coming from a fortuitous long-range effort from Niall McElroy. Ciaran McElroy, Daryl Keenan and Aidan Breen were also impressive in the game.
In the Ulster Minor hurling tournament at Ballinascreen, Eoghan Ruadh (Dungannon) beat Lisbellaw by 4-13 to 0-3 with Dwyer Marshall their inspiration while Portaferry, with Eoghan Sands and Conor O’Neill on form, accounted for Armagh representatives Cuchulainns by 2-10 to 1-8.