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The Irish News Archive - June 20 1998: Derry stars Gary Coleman and Fergal McCusker injury doubts for Ulster semi-final

Derry's Gary Coleman and Tyrone's Brian Dooher challenge for the ball during a Celtic Park clash. Picture by Ann McManus
The Irish News Archive

DERRY defenders Gary Coleman and Fergal McCusker are struggling to shake off hamstring injuries ahead of the Ulster Football Championship semi-final against Armagh.

Both men are receiving intensive treatment for the strains that ruled them out of last month’s win over Monaghan. However at this stage, the chances of either starting against Armagh are thought to be remote.

David O’Neill, who recently rejoined the Derry panel after a spell out through illness, is challenging very strongly for a starting place.

The injuries to the two half-backs saw Johnny McGurk recalled against Monaghan but the Lavey man is thought to be under pressure to hang onto his position for tomorrow week’s game.

Joe Cassidy will learn in midweek whether he will be able to line out for the Oak Leaf County.

The Bellaghy man was sent off in a club championship game last weekend and anything more than the minimum two-week ban will rule him out of the Ulster semi-final.

If Cassidy was reported for striking he would almost certainly receive a one-month ban.

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COLM McLean looks set to double up at next month’s World Juniors in France after achieving the 800m qualifying standard for the championships in Estonia last night.

McLean ran a lifetime best of 1.49.64 when placing fifth in a race won by emerging Ballymena & Antrim talent James McIlroy in 1.47.60.

The St Malachy’s youngster had already managed the qualifying time for the 1500m.

McIlroy’s classy run at the Small Nations event in Tallin was the latest in a series of brilliant performance by the Larne native.

He achieved the European Championship qualifying time in Battersea last weekend.

McIlroy’s club-mate Paul Brizzell chopped .02 off his personal best when winning the 200m at the meeting in 20.93. Siobhan Hoey set a new Irish triple-jump mark of 12.38m in Tallin which added 17 centimetres to her own record from 1994.

Ailish O’Brien managed a personal best of 47.24m in the women’s discus while Ballymena & Antrim’s Michael Allen finished fifth in the men’s javelin with a distance of 58.57m.

Meanwhile, Vicki Jamison will tune up for next weekend’s European Cup by running a 400 metres hurdles race in Norway this evening.

The World Junior silver medalist is joined in Scandinavia by her fellow northerners Eddie King and Brian Forbes.

King goes in the 800m while Forbes will run the 400m

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WATERFORD Crystal Irish Nationals champion Fiona McKenna from St Paul’s GAC flies out to the USA this weekend hoping to become the first Irish player to capture the US National singles title.

Coach Sean McEntee though was cautious in his assessment about McKenna’s chances: “Fiona has come a long way since capturing the World 19 & Under in Winnipeg last year and has worked tremendously hard to maintain her rate of improvement.

“I will be happy to see her continue her improvement and gain enough ranking points in this competition so that she will get a seeding for the US Pro tour enabling her to play in the top competitions as she continues her preparation towards the 2000 World championships in California.”

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BELFAST star Damaen Kelly looks set to be nominated to fight for the British flyweight title in the autumn.

The BBBC seem poised to recommend that the busy Turf Lodge tactician fight Nottingham’s Jason Booth for the flyweight crown. According to the latest Boxing News current champion Adey Lewis has finally had his fill of making the flyweight limit and is set to move up to bantam, creating a vacant title position.

Booth was originally scheduled to confront champion Lewis in the summer with purse offers closing on July 8.

Kelly, with six wins out of six in his first eight months in the professional ranks, – five inside the distance – has looked the real gem in the division.

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