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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 April 2006, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Donegal pair dropped from panel
Kevin Cassidy
Kevin Cassidy (right) has in great form for Donegal recently
Donegal's hopes of landing the Division Two title on Sunday have been hit by the news that Kevin Cassidy and Eamon McGee have been dropped from the panel.

It is understood that the pair have been banned for the rest of the year for disciplinary reasons.

However, in a statement the players claim they were not "engaged in any form of unruly conduct".

They will be replaced by Damien Diver and Barry Monaghan for the Breffni Park decider against Louth.

Donegal chairman Charlie O'Donnell said that the county executive fully backed manager Brian McIver's move.

Cassidy was outstanding in the semi-final win over Westmeath and both he and McGee will be major losses.

It's the second occasion that McGee has been dropped from the panel for disciplinary reasons as he axed from the squad in July 2004.

On that occasion, both he and Brian McLaughlin were dropped by then boss Brian McEniff after they allegedly turned up for training in an unfit condition two days after the Ulster final hammering by Armagh.

Two years earlier, a number of Donegal players misbehaved after the All-Ireland Quarter-Final draw against Dublin and the team were hammered in the subsequent replay.

Nobody at any particular stage wants anything to take away your focus
Brian McIver

There have also been a number of other disciplinary problems which have affected the squad in recent years.

McIver, himself, said that there "certainly was an issue which arose during this week" but added that disciplinary issues are "handled internally".

"Nobody at any particular stage wants anything to take away your focus so it is going to be very important for us to get our focus right because, Louth are going to provide us with an unbelievable challenge," added McIver.

To make matters worse for Sunday's game, McIver is likely to be without defender Karl Lacey who sustained a hamstring injury while playing for his club Four Masters on Monday.

Scan results have not yet been received but Donegal officials fear that he will miss Sunday's decider.

On the plus side, Barry Monaghan and Rory Kavanagh are expected to be fit after missing last Sunday's two-point victory over Westmeath.

Meanwhile, Louth boss Eamonn McEneaney has named an unchanged team for Sunday's game.

The Louth team's big name players are Mark Stanfield, JP Rooney and Aaron Hoey.

Louth: S Reynolds; D Brennan, C Goss, J Carr; J O'Brien, P McGinnity, J Neary; M Farrelly, P Keenan; C Grimes, M Brennan, M Stanfield; JP Rooney, A Hoey, D Clarke

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