By Damian Dolan
London could be facing an injury crisis in their forwards ahead of their Connacht Championship clash with Sligo on May 6, after Liam Irwin picked up a hamstring injury playing for North London Shamrocks on Saturday.
The two-time Mayo All Ireland winner had slotted three majestic scores in Shamrocks’ Tipperary Cup win over Fulham Irish at Montrose Park, before limping off ten minutes into the second half after pulling up sharply.
Shamrocks manager Lloyd Colfer confirmed to the Irish World that Irwin picked up a “hamstring strain”. He added: “We won’t know for a few days how serious it is.”
Irwin made his debut for Ciaran Deely’s Exiles off the bench in London’s NFL Division 4 defeat to Waterford at McGovern Park on March 25. Irwin pointed with his very first touch in London colours.
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Irwin, along with club teammate Cormac Coyne, did not travel to Ireland last weekend as part of a slimmed down London panel, in order to get more game time with his club.
The Exiles welcome the Yeats County to McGovern Park hoping to repeat their historic victory in 2013, but are already likely to be without former Monaghan Under 21 star Fearghal McMahon.
The corner forward suffered a strain of the acromioclavicular joint of his shoulder when he fell awkwardly in the dying moments against Waterford. The normal rehab time is 8-12 weeks.
He has since seen one of Europe’s top shoulder specialists in Dublin in a race to be fit to face Sligo.
Deely told the Irish World: “Fearghal is coming among well in his rehab programme. He has yet to be involved in contact training so he is very unlikely at this stage to make the Sligo game.
“But we are leaving no stone unturned to give him every opportunity to be back fit for the game.”
McMahon was one of London’s standout performers in the league. He racked up three points on his debut to help London to victory over Wicklow, and followed that with a 1-1, including a penalty, in the dramatic draw with Limerick. He added two points against Antrim, and three in the loss to Waterford.