Back in the day - Mar 1 1998: Disaster day for Dunloy hurlers

CROSSED STICKS....Sarsfields’ Michael Stratford and Dunloy’s Frankie McMullan clash during yesterday’s All-Ireland Club semi-final at Mullingar

AIB All-Ireland Club Hurling semi-final replay: Dunloy (Antrim) 1-11, Sarsfields (Galway) 1-15

Sarsfields, All-Ireland champions twice in the 1990’s, showed all their streetwise cred by overturning a four-point deficit and having two players sent off early in the second half, to leave Dunloy’s title bid a beaten docket.

An extraordinary second half, nasty off-the-ball needle, looked to have ripped their championship prospects to shreds when wild-pulling defenders Donal Keane and Michael Ward were dismissed within the space of eight minutes.

Keane was sent off for a late hook on Alister Elliott after 32 minutes and Ward followed him to the sin-bin in the 40th minute.

A second bookable offence, Ward, a controversial figure in the drawn game and who may not have played had the referee taken sterner action then, was lined after crudely pulling across Liam Richmond.

He left referee Pat O’Connor with no option.

Gregory O’Kane had given the Ulster champions a fired up incentive of a 1-10 to 1-6 lead on 36 minutes.

Yet it was Sarsfields who made the numerical imbalance count.

Scores by Aidan Donoghue and Michael McGrath had narrowed the gap before Ward suffered his replay bloodrush.

A 15 against 13 issue, the incentive appeared firmly in Dunloy’s grip.

With the introduction however, of one of Galway’s most famous hurling stars, Joe Cooney, yesterday’s semi-final sequel contrived to execute a quite stunning and bizarre somersault of fortunes.

Dunloy: S Elliott, S. McIlhatton, P. Molloy, F. McMullan, S. McMullan, Gary O’Kane (0-1), S. Mullan, T. McGrath, M. Molloy, L. Richmond (0-2), C. McGuckian, E. McKee, J. Elliott, Gregory O’Kane(0-7, all from frees), A. Elliott (1-1).

Subs: N. Elliott for McGrath (52), C. Cunning for J. Elliott (52).

Sarsfields: T. Kenny, G. McGrath, B. Cooney, D. Keane, P. Kelly, M. Ward, W. Earls, N. Morrissey (0-1), M. Stratford, P. Forde (0-1), M. McGrath (1-2), A. Donoghue (0-6, all from frees), P. Kelly (0-2), J. McGrath (0-1), P. Cooney.

Subs: J. Cooney (0-2) for Stratford (40), M. Kenny for P. Kelly (54).

Ref: Pat O’Connor (Limerick).

Attendance: 6,116.


National Football League Section C: Tyrone 1-3 Dublin 1-7 at O’Neill Park, Dungannon

TYRONE’S prospects of claiming a place in the league quarter-finals look less certain after surrendering the advantage in their section with a dismal defeat against a mediocre Dublin side.

The theory that at Dungannon the Red Hands are invincible must now be well and truly consigned to the dustbin after their third defeat here in less than a year.

This latest below par performance left most of the 6,000 or so supporters disgusted, having watched their team fail to score a point from open play during the hour.

Two brilliant first half frees against the breeze by Ger Cavlan, another from Cush, and an early second half goal from Eoin Gormley was all that Tyrone could muster when, with results elsewhere going their way, a victory would have guaranteed them division one football next season.

With yesterday’s opponents renewing acquaintances for the first time since the All-Ireland final of 1995, it was not entirely unexpected that the game turned out to be a niggly affair, with little flair on show.

Tyrone: F McConnell, D Teague, C Lawn, S McLaughlin, P Canavan, C Holmes, T McKenna, P McLaughlin, G Cavlan (0-2, both frees), B Dooher, V Owens, A Cush (0-1, free), C McBride, E Gormley (1- 0), B McGuckin.

Subs: C Loughran for C McBride, S McCallan for B McGuckin.

Dublin: D Byrne, P Moran, G Harrington, P Christie, P Curran, K Barr, K Galvin, C Whelan, P Bealin (0-1), B Stynes, D Farrell (1-1), I Robertson, J Gavin (0-3, 2 frees), D Darcy (0-2, 1 free), M Deegan.

Referee: John Bannon (Longford)

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