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The Irish News Archive: July 17 1998: McGrath future unclear

Down senior football manager Pete McGrath
The Irish News Archive

PETE McGrath is still considering his position as Down senior football manager.

Last night’s meeting of the county board executive was said to have been called to discuss football in the county, and not the issue of McGrath’s continuation as manager.

Speaking last night McGrath said: “I was told this evening that a meeting of County Executive was to take place, and that there was no place on the meeting’s agenda for appointments or re-appointments.

“The meeting is being called to look at the county teams in general and the senior team will probably be discussed, as well as the U21s and the minors, but there is no pre-meeting plan to discuss my position.”

Since his appointment in 1989, McGrath has led the Down county senior team to two All-Ireland titles.

“I am still considering my position and I will be meeting with the other members of the management team quite soon to see how they feel, what they think about things, and what they want to do,” he said.

“It is still a bit early to discuss appointments – it is only July and usually appointments are not made to sometime in August.''

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ANOTHER personal best performance by Ballymena and Antrim 800m runner James McIlroy almost overshadowed Sonia O’Sullivan’s narrow defeat in the 3000m at last night’s Grand Prix meeting in Nice.

McIlroy set a new Northern Ireland record with a time of 1.45.82 when placing fourth in the 800m.

The time means he is the fastest 800m runner in Britain and Ireland at the moment and further demonstrates his credentials for the European Championships which take place in Budapest next month.

He is now the second fastest Irishman in history behind David Matthews.

His next race will be at the Gateshead meeting on Sunday. O’Sullivan meanwhile was pipped on the line in the 3000m by Moroccan Zara Quaziz.

However, it was an encouraging performance by O’Sullivan, who was moving back to something like her best distance after recent forays over 1500 metres and the mile. O’Sullivan clocked 8 mins 28 secs, which was only seven seconds outside her European record.

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TWO young Ulster boxers are set to compete in the European Cadet Championships in Latvia – and that number may increase after tonight’s Central Council event in Dublin.

Belfast teenagers Patrick Taylor (St Agnes) and Gerard McAuley (Star) will make the trip to Jurmala next month with Ken Egan (Neilstown) and Cormac O’Conaire (Bay City).

After viewing tonight’s contests, Irish selectors will gather tomorrow morning at the National Stadium to decide if any other competitors impressed sufficiently to be added to the four-man team.

The Cadet tournament runs from August 20 to 30 and Michael McCombe will be aiming to join his clubmate Patrick Taylor on the plane to Latvia next month.

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PHILIP Walton begins the second day of the 127th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale just three shots behind leaders John Huston and Tiger Woods, but his is the only happy tale among the Irish contingent.

Walton’s two-under-par 68 was the sole reason for Irish celebration.

Last year’s joint runner-up Darren Clarke returned a 73, as did Padraig Harrington.

Paul McGinley and Warrenpoint professional Robert Giles were one shot better on two over par, but Graham Spring, Des Smyth (74) and Francis Howley (78) could struggle to make the weekend’s play.

With the cut-off point likely to be around the 144-mark, an anxious day’s play is ahead.

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