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Back in the day: The Irish News - Dec 11 1997: Barry O'Hagan and Sean Marty Lockhart set for thundering Ryan Cup duel

Derry star Sean Marty Lockhart holds on to possession despite pressure from Galway's Tomas Costello

OLD friends Adrian McGuckin and Dessie Ryan will be renewing acquaintance this weekend.

Ryan was part of the management team which guided Ballinderry to the Ulster Club title back in 1981.

The Shamrocks club included a certain Mr McGuckin who has gone on to achieve remarkable managerial successes with St Patrick’s College Maghera in colleges football.

Saturday’s Ryan Cup encounter between Adrian’s UUJ and Dessie’s rejuvenated Queen’s should draw a healthy attendance to the Malone playing fields.

Queen’s will be hoping Barry O’Hagan continues his recent scoring burst.

O’Hagan will probably be marked by Derry county man Sean Lockhart in what could prove one of the more intriguing individual battles.

Perhaps even more important for the Malone Road men will be whether Armagh man Diarmuid Marsden plays particularly given that Fermanagh man Tom Brewster is definitely out because of ankle ligament damage sustained last weekend.

Marsden was clearly missed five days ago as Queen’s struggled against St Mary’s.

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CURRENT senior provincial boxing champion Willie Cowan admits he’s “getting on a bit for this boxing game” but the 30-year-old Monkstown welter is in no mood to surrender his crown without a fight.

First off he plans to retain his Smithwick’s Ulster senior title and then settle a few old scores in Dublin before channelling his efforts into securing a Commonwealth games place in Kuala Lumpur next year.

Tonight he begins his defence of the Ulster championship title in a scheduled five round confrontation with Dungiven’s Mark Hargan (St Canice’s) at the Dockworkers social club, Belfast .

“I want to start this season by winning the Ulsters again, I know that some of my opponents have matured, a year older and wiser,” said Cowan

“But I’m bouncing fit, in brilliant shape and I don’t intend to just walk away and retire.

“I’ve trained hard to keep my title and I’m not going to give it away, somebody is going to have to earn it.”

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PADDY Donnelly's run of successes in billiards ranking tournaments came to an end in the Windsor Classic when he was defeated by former Northern Ireland champion Davy Elliott by three games to one.

It was a first class performance from Davy in the frames that he won and Donnelly himself did not play badly either producing a couple of nice breaks.

Elliott took the first game 150-81 with breaks of 66 and 51 unfinished with Paddy hitting a 43.

The retired bookmaker almost ran out the second game when he produced a great 144 break only to break down needing only six more for a whitewash.

Then Donnelly came back with a 51 but also broke down to lose the frame.

In a closely-contested third frame the West Belfast player pulled one back when he produced a 67 and 52 unfinished as against a 31 and 56 from Davy to win 150-144 but another supreme effort from Elliott with breaks of 96 and 35 unfinished saw him lift the fourth and decisive game 150-108, with Paddy having another break of 86.

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A BUSLOAD of Dungiven GAA players will head to Belfast’s Dockworkers club tonight to watch their colleague Paul McCloskey in action at the Smithwick’s Ulster Senior Boxing Championships.

Allstar Joe Brolly was in attendance on Tuesday evening at the Pilot Street venue to see corner-back and light welterweight McCloskey put on a dazzling quarter-final display against Monkstown’s Robert Cardwell.

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