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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

12-week ban for Tipperary goalkeeper as Premier get set to face Cork without 5 key men

Tipp manager Liam Kearns also has injury worries to contend with.

Big setback for Tipperary goalkeeper Evan Comerford.
Big setback for Tipperary goalkeeper Evan Comerford.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Updated 10.15am

TIPPERARY GOALKEEPER EVAN Comerford has been handed a whopping 12-week suspension following an incident in a club game last week.

The Premier County’s Competitions Control Committee (CCC) proposed the ban at an emergency meeting last night.

Kilsheelan-Kilcash clubman Comerford was reported by referee Paddy Russell for ‘minor physical interference’ after he was red-carded against JK Brackens.

Comerford (22) was sent off by Russell following a dispute over the awarding of a free – and now looks set to pay a heavy price.

The nature of Comerford’s infraction means that his suspension applies across all codes and levels.

The ban is back-dated to 23 May, the date of the incident, and won’t expire until 15 August.

He would be free for a possible All-Ireland semi-final appearance but Tipperary would have to get there if Comerford has any chance, as things stand, of playing inter-county football this summer.

The news comes as a hammer blow to Tipperary manager Liam Kearns, who bases much of his game-plan around Comerford’s ability to deliver pin-point kick-outs.

Comerford enjoyed a brilliant 2016 season and was nominated for an All-Star award.

But as things stand, Tipp will have to plan without him for the entire summer, unless there’s another historic march to the last four of the All-Ireland series.

Tipperary’s substitute goalkeeper Ciaran Kenrick is expected to step in between the sticks for the Munster SFC semi-final against Cork on Saturday week, 10 June.

Russell, who refereed the 1990 and 1995 All-Ireland finals, also reported Kilsheelan-Kilcash manager David Power for comments made after the game.

Former Wexford senior boss Power, who guided Tipperary to All-Ireland minor glory in 2011, has received a four-week ban.

Kilsheelan-Kilcash will study the contents of Russell’s match report before deciding whether to take the case to the county’s Hearings Committee.

Tipperary boss Kearns is also planning without injured duo Philip Austin and Ciaran McDonald.

Austin is out with a groin problem while McDonald broke down with a recurrence of a hip injury on club duty with Aherlow Gaels against Fethard last week.

Seamus O'Shea and Ciaran McDonald Ciaran McDonald (right) in action against Mayo's Seamus O'Shea during last year's All-Ireland semi-final. Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Colm O’Shaughnessy was a first choice corner back last year and while he returned to action in the Allianz League Division 3 final victory over Louth at Croke Park, the Ardfinnan man may only be fit enough for the bench.

With captain Peter Acheson currently based in Dubai, all of that would leave Kearns down one-third of the team that stormed to an All-Ireland semi-final appearance last year, including both corner backs, McDonald and O’Shaughnessy.

Kearns was present at Fraher Field in Dungarvan on Saturday evening to watch Cork stumble past Waterford in the Munster quarter-final.

And while many will feel that the Rebels are vulnerable, the absences of so many key men will greatly hinder Tipp’s chances of winning on Cork soil.

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