Sunday Night Takeaway: Lee Keegan incident shows public is conscious of concussion issue

Plus, the FA Cup threw up a big fifth round tie on paper and Andy Murray finds Djokovic insurmountable

Eoin Cadogan, Lee Keegan, Mayo, Cork

Cork’s Eoin Cadogan checks on Lee Keegan of Mayo after the game ©INPHO/James Crombie

After the travails of pre-season, the Allianz National Football Leagues were back with action in all four divisions.

Given that focus for some counties is aimed at peaking for championship time, surprise results will crop up in these early rounds, as happened when Cork eased past Mayo. 

But one particular incident from that game was the one involving Lee Keegan.

Keegan collision

The Mayo star was injured in a collision with Eoin Cadogan during the game, but unlike the Cork player, Keegan was not immediately removed from the field of play.

In a statement, Mayo GAA have suggested that he was substituted with "concussion symptoms" and also admitted that, "The Mayo medical team accept that Lee should have been withdrawn as a precaution a number of minutes earlier when the collision occurred".

The issue of concussion in sport has gained traction in recent years, particularly in both American football and rugby, and the online reaction to the Keegan incident shows just how aware the general public has become when it comes to the handling of head injuries in sport.

Many tweets in the wake of the collision questioned why Keegan was left on the pitch at all and that public consciousness and concern about the handling of his removal from the field is healthy and shows that awareness of the issue has grown exponentially.

That will only add pressure on sports teams around the world to do the right thing and put player welfare first, which is exactly what is needed. 

FA Cup Draw provides one jewel 

At least we have the derby playfully dubbed El Cashico to come in the fifth round.

Chelsea and Manchester City go head to head in late February for a place in the FA Cup quarter-finals which at least provides some lustre to a competition increasingly lacking in that department.

The fourth round didn't exactly catch fire as it lacked a standout game, but hopefully Man City rise to the occasion against a Chelsea side in need of some form of positive resolution to a sorry season.

Andy Murray, right, of Britain watches as Novak Djokovic of Serbia address the crowd after winning the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016.(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)

Andy Murray's quest for Grand Slams at crucial point

That's 11 defeats in the last 12 now for Andy Murray against Novak Djokovic and given that both players were born a week apart, Murray can't wait for his Serbian rival to decline before being able to beat him again, because he'll also be at a similar point in his progression as a player. 

While he has two Grand Slam titles to his name as well as an Olympic Gold and Davis Cup triumph, the Scottish native has lost seven major finals and hence when it comes to tennis' Big Four, it leaves him well behind in the roll of honour.

Whatever the percentage gain that he needs to discover vis-a-vis Djokovic is, he needs to find it soon in order to make a greater mark in history, push himself above the likes of Stan Wawrinka (also on two Grand Slams) in the final reckoning and make his career appear as impressive on paper as it has been to the mind's eye.

And if he can find the level of mental and physical calm that he had while coached by Ivan Lendl between 2011 and 2014, when he won both his Grand Slams in finals against Djokovic, that could prove the difference.