Video: In The Irish News on May 13 1997: Gregory McCartan fit to line out for Down v Tyrone Championship opener

READY FOR THE FRAY...Greg McCartan has been passed fit to face Tyrone on Sunday

GREGORY McCARTAN has been passed fit by Down boss Pete McGrath and will line out for the Mournemen in Sunday’s championship opener against Tyrone at Clones.

From a position a few weeks ago when he seemed certain to miss the match because of an ankle injury, the Ballymartin man will be joined in midfield by former Allstar Conor Deegan, who has been lining out at full-back recently.

McGrath, who named his side last night, has given Championship debuts to Sean Ward, Liam Howlett and Daniel Flynn.

James McCartan has failed to make the team as his shoulder injury is still giving him major problems. Drumaness man Peter Withnell, who came on as a sub in last year’s clash with Tyrone, is also a starter coming in at left-half forward.

Castlewellan man Ciaran McCabe, who has played very little football recently because of a leg injury, is also in the side but there is no place for Jarlath Austin.

Making their championship debuts in the Down defence are Sean Ward, Liam Howlett and Daniel Flynn. Ward and Howlett will be joined at full-back by the reliable Gary Mason.

Howlett has been given the unenviable task of marking Tyrone marksman Peter Canavan.

Down: M McVeigh, G Mason, S Ward, L Howlett, D Flynn, R Carr (c), C Murray, C Deegan, G McCartan, J Treanor, G Blaney, P Withnell, M Linden, C McCabe, G Deegan.




NIALL Quinn is set to miss the Republic of Ireland’s important World Cup qualifier with Liectenstein in Dublin next Wednesday.

The Sunderland striker will undergo an exploratory operation on his knee to establish why he is still suffering discomfort following a damaged cruciate ligament which had sidelined him for five months.

Quinn was named in manager Mick McCarthy’s 22-man squad on Friday for the group eight clash with the part-timers after missing the previous five matches for the Republic.


DARREN CORBETT is set for a one-week sparring session with Pele as he begins the countdown to his Commonwealth cruiserweight title clash with Chris Okoh at Belfast’s new £32m Waterfront Hall on June 2...and it’s nothing to do with a legendary Brazilian hero.

Pele Reid, England’s unbeaten heavyweight hope with a string of wins to his credit, has signed a deal with Barry Hearn to work with Corbett.

Reid is the regular sparring partner for three of Germany’s leading professionals - Henry Maske, Graciano Rocchigani and Corbett’s world title target Ralf Rocchigani.

European champion Johnny Nelson was approached to assist Belfast’s 24-year-old rising star also, while Andrew Benson has also been signed as Corbett prepares for the biggest fight of his improving career.

“Corbett is jumping out of his skin for this one and preparations will be intense over the next few weeks. Corbett is in terrific form and really looking forward to tangling with Chris Okoh for the Commonwealth title,” said Hearn’s NI spokesman Harry McGavock.




FORTWILLIAM’S Peter Hanna and Brendan Lowry narrowly missed out on the top spot in the Volvo Pro/Captain’s Fourball Betterball Challenge Irish qualifier at Dundalk yesterday.

They returned a fiveunder-par 67 but two shots better off were Brendan McGovern and Brian Mungovan from Headfort who now go off to Wentworth on May 27 for the Grand Final of the competition.



Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: