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In The Irish News - Jan 19 1998: Martin Early slams home late penalty goal to earn Tyrone draw in Hastings Cup

CUP OF JOY... Coca-Cola Cup brings a smile to the Celtic faithful’s faces. Young Celtic supporters from west Belfast get to grips with the Scottish Coca-Cola Cup at Andersonstown Leisure Centre at the weekend. The cup was brought to Belfast by Celtic financial director David Lowe and Matt McGlone who were invited by three Belfast Celtic Supporters Clubs. The cup also toured Whiterock Leisure Centre and Artillary Youth Club in the north of the city before being brought to several towns and villages

A LATE penalty goal by substitute Martin Early earned Tyrone a 3-6 to 1-12 draw in an exciting Hastings Cup (U21) clash at Dungannon.

The well-placed kick climaxed a spirited comeback by the home side, and indeed they had chances to win the game.

But in truth a Tyrone victory would have been something of an injustice, as they were outplayed for much of the contest by an impressive Westmeath side backboned by members of the 1995 All-Ireland winning team.

Westmeath, playing with the wind, made all the early running and were rewarded with a goal by a skilful corner forward Des Dolan.

They had built up a healthy lead with points by Tommy Cleary and Michael Ennis by the time Tyrone broke through for Michael Rea to slot home a goal just before half-time.

That score cut Westmeath’s lead to five points and when Rea’s opportunism earned him a second goal 10 minutes into the second half, Tyrone were right back in it.

And when Tyrone were awarded a penalty, Early made no mistake with the kick to earn his side its first point in the competition.

Tyrone: A Gillen, C McGinley, V Teague, C O’Hagan, C Gorley, B Meenagh, D McCrossan, C Martin, J Quinn, M Cochrane (0-1), B McElroy, J Campbell (0-1), S Douglas (0-1), B Eccles (0-2), M Rea (2-1).

Subs: J Ferguson for O’Hagan, C McCullagh for Eccles, M Coleman for McElroy, K Cunningham for Teague, M Early (1-0) for Cochrane.

Westmeath: A Lennon, D O’Brien, K Hickey, F Murray, M Gaye, A Canning, M Murtagh, D Gavin, O Kirby, D Martin (0-2), J Deehan (0-1), M Ennis (0- 2), T Cleary (0-4), C Keane, D Dolan (1-3).

Referee: G McCarron (Monaghan)

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BIG Brian McLaughlin grabbed two late goals to power Donegal past Down, 2-13 to 1-12, in a thrilling Hastings Cup tie at Ballyshannon yesterday.

A paltry attendance saw senior star McLaughlin capitalise on a long ball into the Down defence and finish sweetly in the 53rd minute.

His second goal 40 seconds later had a strong element of good fortune as a mix up between two Down defenders allowed him to finish with aplomb.

Lively Down dominated for much of the first half – inspired by lanky senior star Sean Ward at full forward, who contributed handsomely to their 1-6 to 0-6 half-time lead.

In fact, Down retained their lead until the 50th minute and had some sweet points from Sloan and Fegan. Donegal dug deep and a steady supply of ball was fed to McLaughlin who finished with a personal total of 2-6.

Donegal scorers: B McLaughlin (2-6), M Hegarty (0-2), M Clerkin (0-2), J Carr (0-2), D Gibson (0-1).

Down scorers: S Ward (1-6), P Sloan (0-4), R Fegan (0-1), C Howlett (0-1)

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DOWN had a useful workout against Queen’s in this football challenge game in St Patrick’s Park, Newcastle on Saturday.

In a most competitive encounter the superior fitness of the winners in the final 10 minutes turned the game their way, running out 1-15 to 2-7 winners.

Down’s newest star Shane Ward was outstanding scoring 1-6 of his side’s total and gave the Queen’s defence a real roasting.

Ward scored a goal and three points in a four-minute spell late while Mickey Linden added two points.

Down: P Travers; M McEvoy, B Burns, M McMurray; F Caulfield, M Magill, S Poland; S McMahon, A Molloy; B Loughran, P Sloan (0-1), A Quinn (0-3); J McAlinden, M Linden (0-5), S Ward (1-6)

Subs: E O’Hagan for S Poland; R McGovern for M McMurray; M McVeigh for P Travers

Queen’s: C Rafferty; E McNulty, C McGlennon, P Campbell; D McKenna, C Holmes, A O’Rourke (0-1); J McNulty (0-1), C Coleman (0-1); P McNulty, C McAnallen (0-3), J Considine (2- 0); M Rodgers, B Ward (0-1), N Clerkin

Sub: Conor Coleman for P McNulty

Ref: D Moore (Banbridge)

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