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FOOTBALL: NOT WHAT THE DOC ORDERED; Kevin out for season.

Byline: Michael SCULLY

SHELBOURNE have been rocked by the news that centre-half Kevin Doherty is out for the season - just when they thought he was set to make a comeback.

Initially, the Reds thought they had lost the 21-year-old, for the rest of the season when he suffered a rib injury in last week's 0-0 draw in Bray.

However, Doherty was released from hospital the next morning after being told he had badly bruised ribs.

But the player was admitted to Dublin's Beaumount Hospital on Monday where it was confirmed that he had sustained a fracture.

That rules the former Liverpool reserve out of tomorrow's League clash with Cork City at Turner's Cross (2.0) - and more importantly out of Shels' league run-in.

Manager Dermot Keely explained: "Kevin was initially admitted to Loughlinstown Hospital last Sunday, but after he was released he was still in a lot of pain and he went to Beaumount on Monday evening."

"It's a shame because he's a fine player and a good lad. He'll bounce back, though, and fortunately we've brought in Barry Prenderville, who can take over."

Prenderville replaced Doherty, who was December's eircom/Soccer Writers' Player of the Month last week and did very well for the Reds, who were boosted by Shamrock Rovers' 3-0 defeat in Derry on Thursday.

Tough

"We just have to look after ourselves," claimed Keely.

"If we do that, we should be okay, but it's by no means over. Every game is tough - Bray were tough last week, and this week in Cork will be no different."

Keely is also without winger Richie Baker, who pulled a hamstring at the Carlisle Grounds, so John Burns will replace him.

Burns will remain at the club until the end of the season, along with Martin Gritton - both players were on loan to Shels but have agreed extensions.

Davy Byrne is also available again after an ankle injury as the Dubliners look to inflict more misery at the Cross on City.

Cork have only won seven and drawn two at home, as opposed to chalking up five wins and five draws on their travels.

But City boss Liam Murphy says it's not a case of his side preferring away games.

He said: "We just have to improve our home form, it's as simple as that, and it's something we should be able to achieve.

"Some teams come to Turner's Cross and put all their men behind the ball, hoping to hit us on the break, but it's something we have to deal with as the home team. Shels won't be like that, anyway."

City winger Ollie Cahill, who is currently mulling over a new deal, will be watched by Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock at tomorrow's game.

The 26-year-old is attracting plenty of interest but he has yet to talk terms with any other club.

CAPTION(S):

AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT: Prenderville will replace Doherty
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 23, 2002
Words:486
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