Back in the day: Jan 25 1998: Brian McLaughlin blasts Donegal into Hastings Cup football final

DYNAMIC full-forward Brian McLaughlin spearheaded Donegal’s march to the Hastings Cup U21 football final with eight superb points in this gripping 0-14 to 1-7 semi-final win over Sligo at Markievicz Park.

Donegal opened the first-half scoring with a McLaughlin point from a 35-yard free in the fourth minute following a splendid move out of defence in which four players handled the ball.

Darragh McGarty brought Sligo level three minutes later but the visitors controlled the half to lead by 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time.

Thirteen minutes into the second half with six points separating the teams, Sligo were awarded a penalty but to the dismay of the home supporters among the handful of spectators, county senior player Gerry McGowan drove the ball over the bar.

And 10 minutes before the finish Donegal conceded a second penalty.

Midfielder Sean Davey made no mistake with a blistering low drive past Donegal keeper Conor Curran to reduce the deficit to the minimum.

Sligo tried desperately to gain the upper hand in the 10 closing minutes but Donegal kept their composure with points by McLoughlin (2) and Darren Gibson clinching a deserved victory.

Donegal: C Curran, R Sweeney, R Sweeney, E Redden, A McClafferty, D Monaghan, P McGrath, M Clerkin, P O’Dowd (0-1), M Hegarty, M Ward (0-1), D Gibson (0-3), J Gallagher, B McLaughlin (0-8), J Carr (0- 1).

Sub: B Monaghan for Gallagher.

Sligo: C Gordon, V Coffey, N McGuire, S O’Neill, K Morley, K McDonagh, P Gallagher, S Davey (1-2), F Donnellan, E Crawley, K Carty (0-1), J Murphy, T Brennan (0-1), G McGowan (0-2), D McGarty (0-1).

Subs: K Giblin for Murphy, J Hay


QUEEN'S warmed-up for their Sigerson Cup game against Trinity by defeating an understrength Cavan side 3-8 to 0-8 at Kingscourt.

Clare county player Joe Considine and Mark Rodgers hit 1-4 apiece for Queen’s while Barry Ward also goaled for the winners who included seven players likely to start against Trinity.

UUJ meanwhile recorded a 1-12 to 1-7 win over British club champions Tir Chonaill Gaels from London.

Ex-Poly player Tommy Maguire got the exiles off to a great start with a goal in the first minute, but a penalty despatched by Shane King helped Jordanstown to victory.


KENYA’S Laban Chege had Dutch Immigration officials and the British Embassy in Amsterdam to thank for his win in Saturday’s Coca-Cola CrossCountry International in Belfast.

Germany-based Chege was only added to the Barnett’s Park field on Thursday after the withdrawal of his compatriots James Moiben and James Kariuki.

But he was told when he arrived in Amsterdam late on Friday afternoon that he wouldn’t be able to travel on to Belfast as he didn’t possess the necessary visa.

However, quick-thinking Dutch Immigration officials asked the British government representatives in the Dutch capital to keep their office open an extra-hour and organised a taxiride for Chege and his compatriot Susan Chepkemei to the Embassy.

By Saturday evening, Chepkemei was also grateful for the respective efforts of the immigration and embassy staff as she finished a close second to Romanian veteran Mariana Chirila in the thrilling women’s event.

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