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The Irish News - Nov 7 1997: Mick McCarthy slams brutal Bosvelt challenge on Denis Irwin

Manchester United star Denis Irwin

REPUBLIC of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy added his voice to those condemning the Paul Bosvelt tackle that put Denis Irwin out of the World Cup qualifier against Belgium.

“It’s a blow for us going into our most important game, but in a way I’m almost relieved it’s only six weeks we’re talking about,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“It could have been worse. It was a desperate challenge and an awful tackle.”

Bosvelt chopped Irwin down with a disgraceful late challenge near the end of United’s 3-1 victory in Rotterdam.

The Republic’s full-back had an x-ray on his injured left knee yesterday and will undergo further tests.

United’s assistant secretary Ken Ramsden claims the tests will show whether Irwin has suffered knee ligament damage as feared.

“The situation is that Denis had an X-ray today, which was clear,” he said last night. “But he has further tests to undergo in the next few days and he will be out for six weeks.”

Irwin had to be stretchered off after the foul, but amazingly Bosvelt escaped punishment from referee Sandor Puhl.

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A LEADING GAA official suggested yesterday that the ailing inter-pro series is past its sell-by date and facing the axe.

Michael Delaney, the straight talking secretary of the Leinster Council, said that he felt the Railway Cup was living on borrowed time.

Delaney believes the competition, troubled by declining attendance and increasingly lukewarm interest from the sport’s top players, might be extinct anytime within the next three years.

He was speaking on the eve of this weekend’s hurling inter-provincial play-offs in Ballinasloe after announcing a weakened Leinster squad for their semi-final against Ulster.

Asked if he felt there was a place for the marginalised event in the future, the tone of Delaney’s forecast sounded bleak.

“It will be lucky to see out the Millenium,” he said.

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CELTIC stars Henrik Larsson and Tosh McKinlay were involved in an astonishing training ground bust-up yesterday,

Forty eight hours before the Old Firm clash with Rangers at Ibrox. Parkhead general manager Jock Brown admitted an incident had taken place but said: “Morale in the camp could not be better.”

Swedish midfielder Larsson was left reeling and bleeding after an altercation with McKinlay.

The Scotland defender, who has lost his first-team place to Frenchman Stephane Mahe at Parkhead, now faces disciplinary action from head coach Wim Jansen.

Meanwhile, Paul Lambert is expected to seal his £1.7million move to Celtic on the eve of the Old Firm match.

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JOHN Rafferty of Girvans Club in Coalisland hit the second century break in the Irish News-sponsored Belfast District and Provincial Billiards and Snooker League.

He had a break of exactly 100 in his two frames to one victory over Jim Conway (30 break) but his team went down 3-1 as Sean Buttimer had a 2-0 win over Ciaran Kelly. Tony Buttimer accounted for Seamus Nixon 2-1, while Brendan Coiley was the other winner for the home side beating Michael Quinn 2-1.

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DONEGAL welterweight Gary McCullagh secured his place in the finals of the T R Fastenings sponsored Ulster intermediate Championships with a thrilling, hard-earned points victory at the Dockworkers Club, Belfast, last night.

The referee was virtually redundant save for an eight count delivered on McCullagh in the dying seconds of a blistering battle with Abbey’s Gary McClure.

A moderate, almost leisurely first round pace gave no hint of what was to follow. Thumping right hands from McClure were answered in every round by McCullagh’s own variety of fast, forceful and ultimately rewarding punching. In the end it was McCullagh’s hand that was raised in a 20- 16 victory.

County Antrim welterweight Clinton Morrison went immediately onto the back pedal when he faced current Irish junior title holder Conail Carmichael.

The tactical ploy of the Randalstown boxer kept Carmichael’s blue computer screen from registering until near the end of the first. Carmichael picking his punches, dictated terms throughout.

Bantamweight: H Brady (Newhill) bt B McAleer (Bishop Kelly) 17-4

Light Welterweight: R Cardwell (Monkstown) bt J McClelland (Cairn Lodge) 14- 7; P Maguire (Immaculata) bt K Fitzpatrick (Cavan) RSC R4

Welterweight: G McCullagh (Raphoe) bt G McClure (Abbey) 20-16; C Carmichael (Holy Trinity) bt C Morrison (Randalstown) 11-5

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