Back in the day - Diarmaid Marsden expects International Rules omission - The Irish News, Sep 14 1999

Diarmaid Marsden celebrates after scoring Armagh's first goal against Meath in the 1999 All-Ireland semi-final clash at Croke Park, Dublin. Picture by Ann McManus.
The Irish News Archive

ARMAGH forward Diarmaid Marsden expects to be omitted from Colm O'Rourke's final International Rules panel today. O'Rourke yesterday revealed that some of the players on stand-by, including Marsden, will be notified by letter this morning as to whether they will be travelling to Australia on October 2.

Marsden could not attend the final trial due to his club competing in the Armagh championship the same day.

The Clan na Gael forward hobbled off with a hamstring injury late in the game against Armagh Harps on Saturday evening - which may well rule him out of contention - but the player insisted that it wasn't a serious concern.

“I tweaked my hamstring late on in the game, but it is not a big problem...As far as the Australia trip goes I don't expect to be picked because I couldn't make Saturday's trials,” he said.

His county colleagues Kieran McGeeney and Oisin McConville did attend the trials and will be hopeful of being called up from the stand-by list.

O'Rourke's preparations for the two test series have been hampered by the championship as the former Meath star admitted.

He said: “It comes with the job. With the Armagh boys going through to the (All-Ireland) semi-finals, it has been difficult for them to get to any training sessions and the same goes for the other successful counties.”

He also cautioned that if the All-Ireland final between Meath and Cork were to go to a replay then such a scenario would rule out “up to six players”.

Derry duo Anthony Tohill and Sean Martin Lockhart alongside Tyrone's Peter Canavan were the only Ulster players included in O'Rourke's initial panel.

The northern contingent could well be bolstered this week with the likes of McGeeney, McConville coming into the reckoning. Cavan's Dermot McCabe and Donegal's Mark Crossan too will be hoping to be plucked from stand-by obscurity for the prestigious Aussie trip.

DERRY champions Bellaghy are sweating on the availability of David O'Neill ahead of Sunday's final against Ballinderry.

The 23-year-old was sent off in his side's semi-final at the end of last month but argued his case in front of the county disciplinary committee late last night.

Ballinderry manager Damian Barton has a few injuries to concern him but expects a clean bill of health – apart from the side-lined Sean Donnelly who broke his leg in the semi-final victory over Lavey.

SUNDAY'S Donegal football final between St Eunan's and Aodh Rua is being billed as a grudge match because of the incidents of two years ago.

Letterkenny were stripped of their senior crown following an appeal by beaten finalists Ballyshannon that St Eunan's had fielded an inelligible player.

Ballyshannon retained the title last year on the pitch this time and have been installed as slight favourites for the clash following a comprehensive semi-final win over Gweedore.

St Eunan's have no injury worries and although county stars Brendan Devenney, Mark Crossan and Tony Blake plus the influential Brendan Kilcoyne were all rested in Sunday's league victory over Four Masters, they are expected to field a settled side.

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