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In The Irish News: May 7 1998: McEntee twins hoping for Armagh GAA senior call up

FAMILY AFFAIR... John McEntee collects the Bass/Ulster GAA Writers monthly merit award in the Ulster Brewery in Belfast. Also present are (Back row l to r): his aunt Anne Meegan, twin brother Tony, aunt Martha Reel, sister Aoibheann (front) and mother Mona.
The Irish News Archive

MODESTY prevents John McEntee from talking too much about Armagh’s chances in this year’s Ulster championship.

The likeable 20-year-old doesn’t want to tempt fate in case he’s not part of the occasion, but after playing a pivotal role for Crossmaglen and more recently Armagh’s Ulster U21 winning team, the bustling midfielder seems certain to make his championship debut against Down or Tyrone on June 14.

In Belfast to collect his Bass/Ulster GAA Writers monthly merit award, McEntee said he and his twin brother Tony were hoping to be part of the management’s plans.

“Please God I’ll be there, and Tony too, the Senior Championship is what we’ve dreamed about and it should be a great day, no matter who we play,” he said.

Talk of the Ulster U21 final and a large grin flickers across McEntee’s face. “It was a great achievement surely, especially beating Derry,” he laughs.

“A lot of us would have played against teams like Maghera and Magherafelt in the past and have never beaten them.

“Personally I’d never beaten a Derry team before, so it was a big lift for me.”

If ever proof was needed that football is a full-time commitment, McEntee’s busy schedule provides it.

When U21 training was going on, the McEntees travelled home from Belfast on Mondays and Wednesday, as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays for senior squad training and Fridays with Crossmaglen.

“I’m in my third year of occupational therapy and I suppose people think it’s difficult, especially when football comes first.

“I don’t mind at all. Sure what else what I be doing?”

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All-Ireland ‘A’ Freshers Final: UUJ 1-8 QUB 1-5

IT won’t go down as the one of the classic All-Ireland Finals of all time, but the freshers of University of Ulster, Jordanstown (UUJ) were not worried about that last night after they battled the conditions and arch-rivals Queen’s to become All-Ireland ‘A’ Champions of 1998.

After a desperately disappointing Sigerson Cup loss, UUJ can take some comfort in the knowledge that they were well worth their three point victory at Casemount Park last night.

To their credit, both teams battled hard and at times managed to play some flowing football on a wet and slippy pitch that magnified every mistake.

The match started slowly with both sides struggling to keep their feet on the ground and the passes on target.

Points from frees put the score at 1-6 to 1-4 later in the game and the Poly management were starting to fidget, but they need not have worried because their team took the game by the scruff of the neck again and scored two quick points.

With 10 minutes to go, neither team were giving anything away, and as the minutes ticked away and half-chances for both sides went wide it was clear UUJ were not going to let this one go.

UUJ: B Matthews, E McLarnon, N Farren, P McGurk, R Lynch, P Matthews, K O’Brien, J Toal, J Quinn, G Cunningham, D McCourt, G Diamond, N McParland, R Thornton, D McGarrity.

Subs: Conor McGeown for Niall Farren , Gary Flynn for Declan McCourt.

QUB: D McGirr, P Oakes, F Mallon, M O’Hagan, J O’Neill, B O’Connell, K Gourley, C Martin, M Brethnall, D Boylan, C McAnalllen, D McCarthy, C McIlvanney, N Clarkin, O Farren.

Subs: Mark Hart for Conor McIllvanney, Cormac McGinley for M O’Hagan.

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FIRST-HALF goals from Mickey McQuillan and Antrim star Martin Mulholland helped Glenravel to a 2-10 to 1-5 win over second division Moneyglass in the final round one game of the Antrim Senior Football Championship last night.

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DARREN Clarke buzzed into Belfast yesterday with the Ryder Cup to launch the Carlsberg North of Ireland Championship – an annual visit for the 1990 winner who has now gone on to much greater things.

But while the purpose of the gathering at Guinness was to boost the 1998 bonanza at Royal Portrush, Clarke was the big attraction with his main message being that his target is to win on a more regular basis.

“I always knew where I wanted to go and I believe that I’m heading in the right direction.

“There is still a lot of improvement to be made but I’m so happy to be doing what I always wanted to do,” stressed the big Dungannon man who is now domiciled in England.

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