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The Irish News Archive: July 2 1998: Michael McCormick surprise Oak Leaf selection

RICH KID...Antrim’s Liam Richmond, 21 tomorrow, makes his Ulster SHC final debut against Derry this weekend
The Irish News Archive

MICHAEL McCormick has been handed his Derry senior hurling championship debut for Sunday’s Ulster final against Antrim.

The little known Lavey forward comes into the side to replace Darren Doherty in the half-forward line.

Antrim boss Sean McGuinness, however, last night stuck with the same 15 players who destroyed London in the semi-final for the novel decider.

Ahead of their first provincial final for 60 years, the Derry half-forward department has been subject to change from the side which defeated Ulster champions Down two weeks ago.

And McNaughton is also hoping that Lavey’s Michael Collins could figure in some capacity during Sunday’s final.

The manager had hoped Collins, a younger brother of county and Railway Cup midfield star Oliver, would be fit to start.

“I am confident in young Michael McCormick, even though this is his first championship game for Derry,” said McNaughton.

“This is going to be one tough game for us. We knew against Down that we only had to take out Noel Sands because they play around him.

“But Antrim have 15 men who are all class acts.

“So we have to mark every Antrim player because they are all capable of destroying us,” said the Cushendall-born McNaughton.

Derry: K Stevenson, A Hickey, C Murray, N Mullan, B Ward, D Cassidy, C McGurk, R McCloskey, O Collins, G Biggs, M Conway, M McCormick, P McEldowney, G McGonigle, J O’Dwyer.

Antrim: S Elliot, R Donnelly, O Colgan, F McMullan, S McMullan, Gary O’Kane, K Kelly, P McKillen, M Molloy, J Carson, C McGuckian, J McIntosh, A Elliot, Gregory O’Kane, L Richmond.

Subs: R Matthews, S Bailie, J O’Neill, C McKiernan, S Og McGuinness, J Elliot, C Cunning, SP McKillop, C McCambridge, C Hamill, S O’Kane.

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PRACTICE makes perfect, so says Gary Player but Colin Montgomerie, who bids for a hat-trick of Murphy’s Irish Open titles – this year’s worth IR£191,700 to the winner from the IR£1.15m jackpot – at Druids Glen this week will argue with that sentiment.

Monty doesn’t practise nor does he regularly, like other tour players, visit a coach. He prefers to sort out his own problems if, and when, they arise. He has no time for practice as he leads a busy life off the course as well as on it.

“I don’t practise – I limit myself to warm-ups before rounds. I’m around long enough to know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong and how to sort it out.

“The last time I saw a coach was last August and I hope I won’t have to see another one for many years,” insisted Monty, who has never strung together three wins in a row in any championship.

“I’m proud of my two wins in the Irish Championship and I would certainly like to hold on to the title,” he agreed.

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IT’S funny the way things turn out. On Tuesday, sports giant Adidas took out full-page advertisements in national newspapers with a close-up picture of David Beckham.

Plastered across his face were the words: “After tonight, England v Argentina will be remembered for what a player did with his feet.”

Quite.In fact, it has not been a good tournament for the players sponsored by the German manufacturer. Of the four players featured in their television ads, three have already been red-carded: Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and Patrick Kluivert. Italy’s Alessandro del Piero had better watch his step

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