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Donnelly misses trip to Kerry as Tyrone accept one match ban

By Colm Keys

Tyrone will not be contesting a striking charge laid against midfielder Mattie Donnelly by the Central Competitions Control Committee after an altercation with Aidan O’Shea at the end of last Sunday’s defeat to Mayo.

The Ulster champions have a good record of turning over suspensions but have opted to accept a one-match ban after the CCCC reviewed the incident.

Donnelly will miss Sunday’s final-round Division 1 clash with Kerry, who they haven’t beaten in League or Championship in their last five attempts.

It is the second successive retrospective punishment handed down to Tyrone after a €3,000 fine for the involvement of their  players in an altercation against Donegal the previous week.

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney will not summon the combined talents of Oisin O’Neill and Ben Crealey for Sunday’s vital Division Two promotion battle with Tipperary at the Athletic Grounds.

Both players will be required for the Ulster U21 Championship semi-final against Derry which has been re-fixed for next Wednesday night.

The match was due to be played on Wednesday past but along with the other semi-final meeting between Donegal and Cavan was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.

O’Neill has made a huge impact since his introduction to the Orchard County senior squad earlier this year while Crealey continues to blossom at midfield following his impressive performances for Maghery when they won the county senior championship title for the first time last year.

“We would like to free up Oisin and Ben to concentrate on the Under-21 Championship but they will of course continue to be part of our senior squad,” explained McGeeney.

Should Armagh win against Tipperary and perhaps find themselves in the Division Two final, they could possibly become immersed in a mini-fixtures glut even at this stage of the season.

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