In the Irish News on June 29 1997: Derry gain revenge as Red Hands are routed
Bank of Ireland Ulster SFC semi-final: Derry 2-15 Tyrone (holders) 2-3
from Eamonn O'Hara at Clones
UTTERLY conclusive, emphatic, a total whitewash.
It was pay-back for Derry footballers, and with this crushing defeat of arch rivals and two-time champions Tyrone before 26,000 played out before a live UTV and RTE audience, All-Ireland Championship prospects were renewed.
The spectre of last year's semifinal humbling and an explosive 1995 defeat were dismissed as the former All-Ireland winners breezed into next month's provincial final with a stunning stroll in the sun.
A few weeks ago the warning grafitti was scrawled on the wall for the champions. And what Armagh wide-boys exposed, the enflamed passions and growing confidence of Derry's teamwork exploited without mercy to leave Tyrone playing sad second fiddle as their treble dreams went up in smoke.
The cruel analogy of defenceless matador, cliche red rag, and a Jake La Motta impression of Raging Bull summed up the way in which a tame, toothless Tyrone, a shadow of the team which claimed Ulster as its own in 1995-'96, were trampled into the ground during a second half of relentless onslaught.
Harsh as the facts are, they speak volumes for the weaknesses Derry eventually laid bare.
Reputations received a battering. Tyrone's suspect midfield never came to terms with the challenge posed by Dermot Heaney and Anthony Tohill, their defence appeared incrsasingly vunerable after a shapeless first quarter of an hour to the contest, while the forwards rarely counted.
By Frank Brownlow
Soccer: Ireland U20 manager Brian Kerr paid tribute to his players after their 1-0 win over Spain in the quarter-finals of the World Youth Cup in Malaysia yesterday.
Ireland face Argentina in the semi-final on Wednesday (kick off 9.30am BST). Kerr said: “Every one of the squad, no matter what we have asked them to do, have been disciplined, organised and responsive. I just cannot speak highly enough of them.
“Every one of them has been fantastic, particularly the 12 who played tonight. They were fabulous once again.”
Kerr stressed that conditions have made life difficult for the Irish players.
“It was about 30 degrees tonight and the humidity is so high. It's so difficult. You really would need to be here to appreciate how difficult the conditions are and how fast the matches have been. It's been hard going but the team has been fantastic.”
Ireland's goal against Spain was scored by Trevor Molloy, the only National League player in the side, from a penalty five minutes into the second half after the Athlone Town man had been fouled.
Kerr stated: “Trevor has done great. He had a few sticky moments early in the game and came good coming up to half-time. It was a fabulous twist and turn which got us the penalty and he finished it gloriously. But it would be unfair to pick a player out.”
Wednesday's semi-final will represent the furthest stage Ireland have ever reached in a FIFA tournament.
“It's fantastic. It's unbelieveable for all the people in Ireland who have been involved with schoolboy football for years.
Bank of Ireland Connacht SFC semi-final: Mayo 0-18 Leitrim 0-11
from Ian Prior at McHale Park
THOUGH seven points might seem in itself a comfortable enough margin, the overall ease with which Mayo exploited Leitrim's inadequacies in Castlebar yesterday would indicate a far greater gulf between the two counties.
Last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists appear, if anything, to have improved in the intervening period. Their all-round togetherness and competence was rarely shaken by a Leitrim side containing too many loose threads to make a serious impact at this level.