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Back in the day: The Irish News July 3 1997: Belfast athlete Teresa Duffy joins Antrim men's senior football panel

Turf Lodge Belfast athlete Teres  

BELFAST athlete Teresa Duffy has joined the Antrim GAA senior football panel. 

The Beechmount Harriers runner was left gobsmacked while standing pool-side at the Whiterock Leisure Centre this week. 

Antrim boss Ray McDonnell, just hours after his reappointment as team boss, approached Duffy to join his squad. 

In what seems to be a growing trend, training methods of one sport have been called upon to complement another. 

Last week, Ireland’s top triathlete John Madden, was appointed fitness coach of the Antrim senior hurling squad. 

Now Duffy, a fitness instructor at Whiterock Leisure Centre, aims to give Antrim footballers the pace and stamina needed to progress beyond round one of the Ulster Championship. 

Duffy, who admits to knowing little about Gaelic games, said she is still in shock following McDonnell’s approach. 

“I couldn’t believe it when Ray came into the leisure centre. I thought I’d done something wrong. 

“I knew Ray because he brought the Rossa players to the centre every week when he was manager but I was never expecting to talk to him regarding Antrim football,” she said. 

“To be considered by Antrim and Ray is an absolute honour. I’m excited about the job and I’m very proud to be involved with Antrim.”

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FERMANAGH forward Rory Gallagher has been ruled out of competitive football for the rest of the year.

Gallagher (19) will next month undergo an operation on the groin injury that forced him to miss the Erne county’s two Ulster championship ties with Cavan.

Dublin-based Gallagher admitted that he was disappointed by the news but that it was not unexpected.

“The fact that I was expecting it has softened the blow and to be honest it’s more of a disappointment having missed the championship games against Cavan,” said Gallagher.

The Belleek wonder-kid is now forced out of his club’s Fermanagh championship campaign and the early stages of the National League but hopes to play some part in Fermanagh’s Division Three campaign.

“It’s hard to put a time limit on these things but I hope to be training again by late November or early December and playing county football when the National League resumes after the winter break,” he added.

Meanwhile, the summer flight of Fermanagh’s Young Earls to the Big Apple and elsewhere has begun – in earnest.

Raymond Gallagher – one of the outstanding forwards in the country has flown to Boston.

He has been joined on the American trail by fellow county star Shane King of Lisnaskea.

It is understood that under the present 60-day sanction both Gallagher and King will not be available for their respective clubs until early September.

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ANTRIM’S young veteran Conor McCambridge has put his team-mates on red and black alert for Sunday’s Ulster hurling final clash with Down at Casement Park.

At 22 years-of-age the Cushendall star already has three Ulster finals under his belt – only a broken hand prevented a fourth last year.

“Down have been written off before and have ended up beating us so we aren’t paying any attention to paper talk or anything like that,” says McCambridge.

“It suits them to be written off by everybody because that shifts all the attention and pressure on to us but we will not be complacent.

“This is an Ulster final and we know their players will be up for it.”

Antrim find themselves in a similar situation to that which Down found themselves in two weeks ago.

Then it was Derry who were being written off as no-hopers.

The men from the Peninsula were pushed all the way and only a late scoring burst saw them past the finishing line.

“I didn’t see the Derry game but from what I’ve heard they struggled for large parts of the game and just done enough to win. But that won’t count on Sunday,” said McCambridge.

Down: G Clarke; S Murray, K Coulter, AN Other, M Braniff, M Mallon (capt) M Coulter Snr, G Savage, P Coulter, B Coulter, M Ballie, G McGrattan, M Coulter Jnr, J McCrickard, N Sands.

Subs: G Smith, J McGrattan, G Adair, C McGrattan, B Milligan, P Monan, B Braniff, M Blaney, G Trainor.

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EVANDER Holyfield believes that a lifetime ban from boxing would not be an excessive punishment for Mike Tyson, who bit the heavyweight champion on both ears in last Saturday’s astonishing world title bout.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission will conduct a special hearing next Wednesday to determine what punishment to inflict upon Tyson for the actions which prompted his disqualification in Las Vegas.

“A lifetime ban wouldn’t be too much,” Holyfield said.

“But the commission would have to make that decision.”

Remarkably, Holyfield has not ruled out a future fight against Tyson, but his main goal remains unifying the heavyweight championship and any rematch against the disgraced former champion will come “not right away.”

“If time permits and two years down the road Mike has proven himself fighting, why not? I would never say never,” added Holyfield

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IRISH players have flattered to deceive at the two European tour events staged on this island in recent years.

Philip Walton and Paul McGinley manoeuvred themselves into excellent positions at the halfway stage of the Murphy’s Irish Open at Mount Juliet two years ago.

Ten months ago, Padraig Harrington was seemingly nicely poised going into the final 18 holes of Smurfitt European Open at the K Club.

But when it mattered, over the closing nine holes of both tournaments, the home contingent scattered to the anonymity of a supporting cast.

Having already secured his Ryder Cup place for Valderrama in September, Darren Clarke has this year been handed the dubious mantle of leading Irish contender.

The Portrush-based Dungannon man appeared to be doing his utmost to play down his chances this at the Murphy’s Irish Open in Druids Glen this week when he spoke to the press yesterday.

“I’m not holing out on the greens as well as I would like,” said Clarke, who has been in the top 12 in his last six European Tour events.

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