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In the Irish News - Aug 19 1997: Clonduff roll over Castlewellan in Down SFC semis

Down's Ross Carr glimpsed through a delighted crowd of Down supporters in 1991

CLONDUFF produced one of their best displays of the year to outplay Castlewellan in a lively and highly-entertaining Down Senior Football Championship semi-final in Drumgath last night.

On top at midfield through Plunkett McConville and John Morgan, they dominated the play for long spells and it was only the accuracy from frees by Ciaran McCabe that kept Castlewellan hanging in throughout the hour.

The versatile McCabe played throughout with a broken hand, which was heavily bandaged, but it did not deter him from slotting over eight frees and proving to be Castlewellan’s only effective forward apart from rare flashes from Finbar Rice and Conor O’Neill.

Clonduff, with a physically stronger side and allied to their fitness, over-ran the lighter Castlewellan side which contained six minors.

Paul Shields, Paul McConville, Paul McShane and Eugene O’Hagan were outstanding in the Clonduff defence, while Ross Carr and Shane Ward completely dominated the Castlewellan defence, taking some excellent scores from both frees and play.

The Castlewellan defence struggled throughout but Michael Guinness, Gareth Keaveney and Donal Ward never gave up the battle.

They suffered an early reverse when midfielder Bernard McAleenan retired injured, resulting in the attack suffering from a shortage of supply.

Clonduff: J McAleavey, P McConville, P Shields, M McEvoy, E O’Hagan, P McShane, T Wilson, P McConville (0-1), J Morgan, J Farrell (0-1), R Carr (0-7), P Matthews, S Curran (0-5), D McPolin, S Ward (0-5)

Subs: C Murray for D McPolin, D Fearon (0-1) for J Farrell and M Reilly for P Matthews.

Castlewellan: M McVeigh, D Ward, M Guinness, C Rice, C Keaveney, M Laverty, G Keaveney, B McAleenan, M McKibben, C O’Neill (0-3), P Hardy, C McCann, F Rice (0-1), B Dougherty (0-3), C McCabe (0-8)

Subs: D Anderson for C Rice, K Owens for B McAleenan and M O’Neill for C Keaveney.

Referee: C Broderick (Banbridge)

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CAVAN appear to have no major injury worries for Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Football semi-final against Kerry.

Martin McHugh is expected to announce the same team which started last time out in the Ulster final against Derry when the Cavan side is selected tomorrow evening.

That would mean goal-scorer Jason Reilly and Cavan Gaels’ man Mickey Graham would have to be content with places on the bench.

Cavan midfielder Dermot McCabe, man of the match in the Ulster final, yesterday received the National Irish Bank player of the month award for July in Dublin.

The 21-year-old Gowna man is one of several Cavan starters who will be lining out at Croke Park for the first time in the All-Ireland semi-final.

And McCabe, along with a number of Sunday’s Cavan squad, including Mickey Graham, Peter Reilly, Larry Reilly and Jason Reilly, played on the Cavan team which lost out to the Kingdom in last year’s All-Ireland U21 final.

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TYRONE’S top scorer Stephen Donnelly is in line for a return to the side for Sunday’s Ulster minor football championship semi-final against Kerry.

Donnelly, who missed the Ulster final after breaking his collar bone in a club game, is back in training and featured prominently in a recent challenge game against Mayo, which the Connacht champions won by 1-13 to 1-10.

Despite sitting out the Clones decider, Donnelly is still Tyrone’s top marksman with 3-9 to date.

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