Injury blow for Austin

ARMAGH midfielder Ronan Austin has suffered an injury blow as the build up continues to the county's NFL division two final against Down on Sunday week.

The Clan na Gael player, who was highly impressive against Kildare recently in Crossmaglen, suffered a broken jaw when playing for his club in last Monday night’s ACL division one game against Carrickcruppin.

The injury occurred when the Blues’ midfielder was tackled eight minutes into the second half of the game which was blown up early by Wolfe Tones referee Steven Murray.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This was due to fading light and the fact that the player had to receive treatment on the pitch before being taken by ambulance to Craigavon Area Hospital and later to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.

With Davitt Park closed the Clans game took place across town in Clann ireann Park and their boss Gerard Skelton was grateful that on-field assistance was supplied by Sean McDermott from the resident club who works in the medical profession.

Gerard said: “Sean gave a lot of assistance in the period before the ambulance arrived, so we [Clan na Gael] are grateful for his help.”

Ronan’s county career has been dogged by injuries. Back in 2008 he suffered a broken leg at Breffni Park against Cavan in a midweek McKenna Cup game and last season he was sidelined early on with injury.

The Clans manager said he hopes Ronan will recover soon. “All of us at Davitt Park hope that Ronan will make full recovery. He has a great appetite for the game and, on a personal level, wish him all the best.” said Gerard.

Clan na Gael, apart from a few stalwarts, fielded what was practically an under 21 team with another midfielder, Steven O’Hagan, injured and Dwyer McAlinden also out. Gerard Skelton will be hoping that his side stabilises sooner rather than later.

With an already strong Clan na Gael ‘B’ team being strengthened further with Diarmaid Marsden, Colin Treanor and Paul O’Hagan recruited, it could be taken for granted, however, that Marsden would be reluctant to play any senior football.

Colin Treanor, at 34, who is still in good shape and playing junior soccer with AFC Craigavon, would be an asset to the Clan midfield with Austin and O’Hagan out. Treanor told the ‘Mail’ recently that he had no plans to return to senior football.

Ronan Austin did not figure against Donegal last Sunday but the Lurgan man, who was part of the Armagh U21 All-Ireland winning side in 2004, could have been utilised against Down in the league final.