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In The Irish News - May 18 1998: Red Hands keep a grasp of their crown

BREAKTHROUGH...Down’s PJ McAlinden forces his way through the heart of the Tyrone defence during yesterday’s drawn minor match at Omagh
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Ulster Minor Football Championship preliminary round: Tyrone 2-10 Down 1-13

THE minors of Down and Tyrone have to do it all again on Saturday evening in Newry after playing out a most entertaining draw in yesterday's Healy Park curtain-raiser.

An injury-time point from full-forward Enda McGinley earned the holders a draw they just about deserved.

After a first quarter which saw Down establish a 1-6 to 0-2 advantage, Tyrone thanks to two Stephen O'Neill goals were three points to the good with 15 minutes remaining.

However, Down, partly helped by the introduction of substitutes Damien Rafferty and Paul Hanna, then reasserted themselves to edge two points clear with only seven minutes remaining.

But an Aidan Lynch score and McGinley's equaliser ensured an outcome which even Down manager Gerry Dougherty admitted afterwards was just.

Down, who included St Colman's Hogan Cup heroes Michael Feeney, Liam Doyle, Conor McCoy and Aidan Fegan, displayed some dazzling passing movements.

PJ McAlinden, probably the best attacker on view yesterday, hit the Mourne team's second score after a brilliant move involving Adrian McCarville, Karl Oakes and Colm Savage.

Later came the moment which at that stage looked to be the pivotal point in the hour when O'Neill blasted his second goal of the match after a superb 50 metre run.

Tyrone: P McConnell, G Devlin, M McGee, F Loughran, C Meenagh, B McGuigan, P O'Neill, C McAnallen (0-1), K Hughes, G Wylie (0-2), D O'Hanlon, S O'Neill (2-0), A Lynch (0-4), E McGinley (0- 2), D Kelly (0-1).

Down: C Sloan, B Kearney, M Feeney, C McCrickard, C Boyle, A O'Prey, L Doyle, C Ferris (0-1), A McCarville, K Oakes (0-1), C McCoy (0-2), PJ McAlinden (1-3), C Savage (0-1), A Fegan (0-5), A Devlin.

Subs: D Rafferty for McCrickard 37 mins, P Hanna for Savage 44, E Magee for Boyle 58.

Referee: M Convery (Derry)

PAUL McGrath was yesterday given an emotional farewell by a 39,000 crowd at Lansdowne Road which provided him with a Testimonial cheque for £600,000.

Jack Charlton's all-star team defeated the Republic 3-2 with goals from Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Dean Saunders, with Rory Delap and Gareth Farrelly replying for Ireland.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern led the Dublin crowd's tributes to the 38-year-old McGrath, who started his career with St Patrick's Athletic before joining Manchester United for £25,000 in 1982.

He then had spells with Aston Villa, Derby and Sheffield United before a knee injury forced him to quit the game earlier this season. Capped 83 times by his country, McGrath, who plans to go into youth coaching, did a lap of honour at the final whistle after playing for the final 10 minutes.

WEST Belfast teenager Patrick Taylor is on course for Gaelic gold after a swift first round stoppage victory in Wales yesterday.

The brilliant St Agnes prospect, who is unbeaten at national level with five Irish titles already to his credit, made short work of his bout with Scotland's John Park in the Gaelic Youth Championship semi-finals in Swansea.

“Patrick phoned home immediately after the contest. It was a great performance. Park was over in Belfast a fortnight ago boxing on our show in Andersonstown and although he was beaten he looked very useful,” said St Agnes secretary Sean Canavan.

Young Taylor now moves into the finals seeking to add the Gaelic crown to his Irish and UK title achievements.

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