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In The Irish News: Mar 23 1998: St Patrick's, Maghera lads never stop trying but St Mary's, Belfast claim the Mageean honours

SAFFRON SOLO...Antrim’s Colm McGuckian goes on a solo run against Dublin at Casement Park yesterday

Mageean Cup final: St Mary’s, Belfast 3-12 St Patrick’s, Maghera 2-5

AS in the MacRory Cup decider four days previous, a young St Patrick’s, Maghera hurling side found themselves with an uphill task by the end of the first quarter in Saturday’s Mageean Cup final.

By that stage St Mary’s, Belfast were 2-4 to 0-1 on their way to a third successive title – a feat last achieved by St Patrick’s.

By the halfway mark, it looked little better, although Martin Kidd’s goal from a free two minutes before the break seemed to lift Maghera.

They then trailed by 2-7 to 1-2.

Michael McCullough was the star of that opening period with two to his credit and also laying off some great scores for his forward colleagues, particularly Gavin Bell.

When Kieran McGourty took advantage of a mistake in Maghera’s defence to scramble home another goal two minutes into the second half, the game was over although to Maghera’s credit they never dropped their head and were worthy of more than Adrian Quigg’s goal midway through the half.

St Mary’s, Belfast: Gareth Bellow, Diarmuid McAuley, Gerard McNally, Ciaran Herron, Eugene McGlone (0-1), Michael Kettle, Eamonn Toner, Hugh Kennedy (capt) (0-1), Gareth Ward (0-1), Sean McManus, Gavil Bell (0-3), Kieran McGourty (1-0), Michael McCulley (2-4, 0-2 frees), Patrick Kelly (0-2), Ciaron Magee.

Subs: Paul Denvir for G Bell (47 mins).

St Patrick’s, Maghera: Paul McVeigh, Michael Hasson, Cathal Brenton, Eugene Carmichael, Terry Carmichael, Francis McCloy, Brennain Brunton, Padraid Kelly (capt), Peter O’Kane, Adrian Quigg (1-0), Francis Scullion, Martin Kidd (1-5, 1-4 frees), Fergal McEldowney, Shane Kelly, Paul Doherty.

Referee: Gerard Devlin (Armagh).

Corn na nOg: St Colman’s Newry 0-15 Omagh CBS 1-7

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ST COLMAN’S College, Newry brought off the Ulster Colleges double when a great second half saw them overcome Omagh CBS to lift the Corn na nOg title to add to the MacRory Cup they already won earlier in the week.

The winners started at a hectic pace with five points from Ronan McMahon and looked to be coasting to victory.

But Omagh regrouped quickly with Darren Mullan and Damian McElholm taking control of midfield in the second quarter to give their side a fighting chance.

Star of the St Colman’s attack was team captain Ronan McMahon who scored 10 of the sides points and he got good support from Colm Farrell and Gerard Fegan.

Omagh who battled bravely to the end were never able to maintain their momentum in the second half after a strong second quarter had outstanding defenders in Sean Benson, Colm McGuirk and Edward O’Gara, while Darren Mullan had an outstanding game at midfield.

St Colman’s: B Connell, J McKeown, H Davey, G Smyth, R Henry, C Kelly, J Arthurs, G Byrne(0-1), A Grant(0-1), C Farrell(0-2), R McMahon (0-10), C Keenan, E McCartan, G Fegan, E Devlin(0-1).

Omagh CBS: D Marlow, D Carlin, E O’Gara, C Donnelly, E Clarke, S Benson(0-1), C McGuirk, D Mullan(1-5), D McElholm, J McCarroll, J McMahon, D Horish, C O’Kane, M Donnelly, M Ward(0-1)

Ref: P McAneaney (Monaghan)

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THE emotional roller-coaster that is Sonia O’Sullivan’s career reached its highest point yesterday when the Cobh athlete completed a glorious gold medal double at the World Cross-Country Championships in Marrakesh.

Saturday’s victory in the longer eight kilometre event when she out-kicked Britain’s Paula Radcliffe told us emphatically that the 28-year-old was back after the horrors of the last two summers. Yesterday’s 4K triumph indicates that O’Sullivan deserves to be talked about in the same breath as iron performers Emile Zatopeck and Lasse Viren.

The Cork woman admitted after her victory yesterday that she had been told that she was mad to even consider bidding for the historic and inaugural double with the 4K a new addition to the championships.

However, O’Sullivan’s bloody-mindedness, which has proved a weakness over the last two summers, yesterday ironically became an attribute.

“I got up this morning at 7.30 and went for a jog. Everything felt as good as it did yesterday morning so I thought I might as well go for it,” she said.

“I suppose I was just a bit greedy and didn’t want to share the tag of world champion with anybody this weekend.”

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