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Back in the Day - January 26 1997: Ulster suffer second half collapse in Railway Cup semi-final

Ulster's Mickey Linden is tackled by Leinster's Dermot Brady during their Railway Cup semi-final

A SECOND half Ulster collapse saw Leinster stride to a comprehensive 10-point success in an entertaining Railway Cup football semi-final before 1,200 spectators at Navan.

The margin of the win may have slightly flattered Leinster at the finish, yet there was no denying that Mattie Kerrigan’s team were the more adept on the day.

Ulster manager Brian McEniff admitted as much afterwards. The Donegal man added that he would make no “snap decisions” on his future as Ulster manager.

McEniff saw his side get off to the perfect start through a Mickey Linden goal in the second minute but Leinster came racing back to win 3-14 to 1-10 .

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A LATE point from a John Carson free, his sixth of the hour, gave Cushendall a share of the spoils in their Division 1A Antrim Hurling League clash at Dunloy, which finished 0-10 to 1-7.

And what a result it turned out to be for Cushendall, who still sit top of the table with 22 points.

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FIRE-BREATHING Mark Hughes sparked the astonishing FA Cup comeback that sent Liverpool back to Merseyside stunned and revealed: “We could sense the fear in them.”

The Welsh dragon had been dropped by Ruud Gullit in favour of Italian ace Gianluca Vialli. But with the Blues looking down and out after first-half goals from Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore, Gullit bit the bullet by sending Hughes on at the interval.

Within five minutes Hughes had scored to start a 25-minute spell in which the Stamford Bridge crowd roared with pleasure as their side struck three more times – one from Gianfranco Zola and two from Vialli – to earn a fifth-round trip to Leicester.

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IAN Woan sent Newcastle crashing out of the FA Cup with his first two goals of the season in a 2-1 Nottingham Forest victory at St James’ Park and then branded his scoring record a disgrace.

The midfielder’s double strike earned Forest their fifth successive victory but he revealed: “I’ve taken some terrible stick from the lads after being leading goalscorer last year.

“To not get off the mark until the end of January is a disgrace. But I’m absolutely delighted today.”

Woan’s previous goal was also against the Magpies at the end of last season, but he said: “I’ve got nothing against Newcastle.

“It just seems to fall that whenever we play them, I score.”

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BRAZILIAN striker Ronaldo celebrated his FIFA World Player of the Year award with a first half hat-trick as Barcelona thrashed Rayo Vallecano 6-0 in the Spanish League.

The win kept Barcelona second in the championship three points behind Real Madrid, who were led to a 4-0 victory over Celta Vigo by another Brazilian, defender Roberto Carlos.

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KEN Doherty marched into the last 16 of the £215,000 Regal Welsh Open with a 5-0 whitewash against Joe Swail.

The Dubliner required only 72 minutes to complete his victory and described his dominant performance as “a real confidence boost”.

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ERNIE Els praised the honesty of New Zealander Michael Long after coming from behind for a one-stroke victory in the Johnnie Walker Classic in Queensland.

South African Els took the £116,660 first prize after a rain-interrupted closing round of 69, while the desperately unlucky Long had to settle for a share of second place with Australian Peter Lonard.

At the 15th green Long called a penalty shot on himself after seeing his ball move a fraction of an inch as he prepared to make his 30-foot birdie attempt.

“Gentlemen play this game,” said Els afterwards.

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