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Tohill leaving International Rules door open

By John Campbell

Ireland manager Anthony Tohill is due to finalise his 23-man squad for the forthcoming International Rules Test series against Australia following this weekend’s squad session at Carton House, Maynooth.

However, Tohill may stay his hand in the hope that some more of the Kerry and Dublin players who took part in the recent All-Ireland final will make themselves available to him.

Tohill held a meeting with his selectors last night at which various options were discussed but it was decided to defer formal confirmation of the squad.

“Players like Kieran Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan and others might still come on board depending on club commitments and we would be prepared to check their respective situations,” said selector Kevin O’Brien.

But Tyrone double All-Ireland winner Joe McMahon could find himself on the horns of a dilemma as the county championship reaches a climax.

McMahon is due to line out with Omagh St Enda’s against Dromore in the Tyrone Championship semi-final tomorrow week and should the team be successful he will be required for duty against either Derrylaughan or Clonoe in the decider which is fixed for Sunday, October 23.

And if the St Enda’s outfit should end their 23-year Tyrone title famine in that game they will be expected to face Derry representatives Ballinderry or Kilrea in the Ulster Club Championship on October 30.

But therein lies McMahon’s problem. The versatile competitor — he is equally at home either in defence or attack — is a strong candidate for the Ireland squad that is due to face Australia.

He has been hugely impressive in the squad training sessions but right now his sole focus is on the Omagh club’s drive for domestic glory.

“Obviously depending on how things go there could be an overlap and this would mean that I might have to forego a possible trip to Australia if I am selected.

“But I am very determined to try and bring the county title back to Omagh,” admitted McMahon.

Dromore looked impressive in overcoming Ardboe in their quarter-final on Sunday — and this is one of the reasons McMahon’s looking no further than the semi-final against a side which derives its inspiration from his county colleague Ryan McMenamin.

“Dromore won the title a couple of years ago and we know that they are keen to get it back again with Ryan there to fire them up,” said McMahon.

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