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In The Irish News - May 4 1998: Kennedy clan celebrate Irish Cup and English soccer success

GREAT STUFF...Glentoran celebrate after defeating Glenavon 1-0 at Windsor Park in the final of the Bass Irish Cup on Saturday

WATFORD defender Peter Kennedy was quite surprised his brother John had scored the goal which brought the Irish Cup to Glentoran.

The Kennedy household in Lisburn was celebrating a unique double on Saturday evening.

While elder brother John scored the extra-time match winner to take the Irish Cup from holders Glenavon, Peter was celebrating a Nationwide League Division Two championship win and promotion with Watford.

John Kennedy's goal came after 97 minutes in the blue-riband domestic competition staged on the appalling Windsor Park surface and in a scrappy showpiece.

“I'm surprised John scored with his feet, let alone score the match winner in the Irish Cup final,” said Peter Kennedy.

“I didn't find out until late on Saturday night and by that time we were celebrating winning the league.

“It's great for John to have scored in the game and I'll be looking forward to getting home and having a drink to celebrate”.

Glentoran have now booked themselves a place in the Cup Winner's Cup competition next season after an amazing turn around at the Oval which got underway with the appointment of manager Roy Coyle, following the resignation of Tommy Cassidy.

Coyle said his six months in charge of Glentoran have been “tremendous”.

Glenavon's immediate player concern surrounds the fitness of goalkeeper Dermot O'Neill.The former Derry City captain was withdrawn from the cup final with suspected ligament damage to his right knee.

TYRONE'S explosive start provided them with the perfect launch pad for their quest for the Ulster Minor League title, two early goals leaving Derry with a huge task at Ballybofey on Saturday.

That double strike from Damien Kelly and Darren O'Hanlon asked searching questions of the character of the Oak Leaf lads.

But Derry dominated the final quarter.

Late points from Niblock and Sean Doyle narrowed the gap to five, but there was never any danger of Tyrone allowing this one to slip, and they held on for their first league title for three years, winning 2-7 to 0-8.

Tyrone: P McConnell, G Devlin, M McGee, F Loughran, C Meenan, D O'Hanlon (1-0), P O'Neill, C McAnallen (0-1), K Hughes (0-1), K Corry (0-1), G Wylie, S O'Neill, A Lynch (0-1), F McGinley (0-1), D Kelly (1-2).

Sub: F Donnelly for Loughran. Derry: C O'Connor, K McGuckin, F Doherty, P Cartin, J Niblock (0-5), K McLarnon, P O'Kane, L Diamond, J Bell, S Greene, N McCusker (0-1), K O'Neill (0-1), D McGeehan, S Doyle (0-1), B Gillis.

Subs: N Convery for Diamond, S Loughry for Gillis. Referee: S McRory (Donegal)

BELFAST flyweight Damaen Kelly stretched his unbeaten ring record to six with another inside the distance win at the Royal Albert Hall in London at the weekend. It was a night of double success for the Irish in London with Dublin-based cruiser Cathal O'Grady chalking up win No 7.

But the wins were overshadowed afterwards when British kingpin Spencer Oliver underwent a three-hour operation to remove a blood clot at London's National Neurological and NeuroSurgery Hospital.

Oliver was stopped in the 10th round of his European super-bantamweight title defence against the Ukrainian Sergei Devakov which topped the Albert Hall bill. Oliver's condition was described yesterday as “critical but stable.”

Kelly claimed victory over his third European opponent with a classy display against Bulgarian Krasimir Tcholakov. The 25- year-old Belfast fighter spent a week at the Fitzroy Lodge gym in London sparring with Devakov in preparation for the fight.

TYRONE have suffered another serious injury blow ahead of their Ulster Championship clash with Down on May 17.

Pascal Canavan chipped a bone in his ankle during a weekend club game, and definitely misses the championship curtain-raiser.

Canavan was carried off after just 15 minutes of Errigal Ciaran's Division One League victory over Edendork, just days after brother Peter sustained a broken jaw in a friendly game.

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