In The Irish News - Apr 23 1998: Derry U21 star Benny Murray gets senior county call-up

Swatragh's Philip Mooney attempts to tackle Ballinascreen's Benny Murray during a Derry Senior Championship quarter-final match at Banagher
The Irish News Archive

DERRY U21 player Benny Murray was last night named in his county’s senior team for Sunday’s National Football League final against Offaly.

Murray, who won an All-Ireland U21 medal 12 months ago, replaces the injured Seamus Downey at full-forward while the other expected change in the Derry attack sees Joe Cassidy taking over from another hamstring victim Eamonn Burns.

Ballinascreen man Murray will see his inclusion as a massive vote of confidence after he had the misfortune last Sunday to miss a last gasp free which would have earned Derry a draw in the Ulster U21 final against Armagh.

The Oak Leafers have left a vacancy at left full-back but this will be filled by Johnny McBride whose suspension for his sending off against Monaghan elapses on Saturday evening.

The Ulster county are merely following the letter of the law by not naming a player who is under suspension in an official line out to be forwarded to Croke Park.

Headquarters yesterday confirmed that the Loup man had been given the minimum two-week ban for his indiscretions against Monaghan. Burns, a clubmate of Ballinascreen player Murray, attempted light training last night but county PRO Gerry Donnelly said it was obvious the forward wouldn’t be up to the rigours of starting Sunday’s match.

Downey pulled a hamstring while playing for his club Lavey on Sunday night and seems unlikely to even be included in the substitutes for the league decider.

Derry: E McCloskey, K McKeever, S Lockhart, AN Other, P McFlynn, H Downey, F McCusker, A Tohill, D Heaney, G McGill, G Coleman, D Dougan, J Brolly, B Murray, J Cassidy


AN injury-time goal by the excellent Brian Close denied St Columbus, Portaferry a first ever Ulster Colleges title after they led from the first minute of the Forester’s Cup Final in Casement Park yesterday.

Close finished with four goals and a point and really his three goals in the final quarter changed the game in favour of his side.

If Close was the La Salle hero then Karl Keating excelled for the losers.

He hit four frees in the first half all of them from outside 60 yards and equalled that in the second half despite having to move to full back to attempt to control Close.

La Salle: C McDonald, K Grego, K McGourty, G Cunningham (0-1), G Lecky, G McGahey, D Gregory, K McLaron (Capt), A McKinley, R McDonald (0-1), B Tully, K Greaves (0-5), G Fagan, B Close (4-1), P Beattie.

Sub: D Owens for G Fagan.

St Columbus: E CLarke, G Dynes, S Roddy, C Savage, G Flynn, G Clarke, K Keating (0- 8), P Convery (Capt), S Adler, A Trainor, F Clarke, S Clarke, P Braniff (0-3), B Murray (1- 1), N Kelly (1-0),

Sub: S Johnston for A Trainor.


TYRONE have suffered a double injury blow ahead of Sunday’s All-Ireland Vocational Schools football final against Offaly.

Midfielder Owen Mulligan broke an arm in training and attacker Aidan Quinn tore ligaments during a club game.

Both are definitely out of the Croke Park decider, which will be played as the curtain-raiser to the National League final.





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