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The Irish News Archive - Aug 27 1998: Derry footballers come out tops in The Irish News Ulster Allstars awards

Derry's Sean Martin Lockhart beats Offaly' Ray Malone to the ball during the National League final at Croke Park, Dublin
The Irish News Archive

DESPITE their disappointing All-Ireland exit, the Derry football team claim seven places on The Irish News Ulster Fans’ Allstars selection announced this morning.

The successful players will be honoured at this evening’s Irish News gala dinner at the Glenavon House Hotel in Cookstown where the identity of the Ulster Fans’ Player of the Year will be revealed.

Derry’s achievement in regaining the provincial championship for the first time is five years earns selection for goalkeeper Eoin McCloskey, captain Kieran McKeever, Sean Martin Lockhart, Henry Downey and Paul McFlynn in the defence plus attackers Dermot Dougan and Joe Brolly.

McKeever, Downey and Joe Brolly are the only survivors from the team selected by the fans 12 months ago. Donegal’s re-emergence as serious provincial contenders is emphasised with the votes that came in for their four representatives: wing-back Damien Diver; midfielder Jim McGuinness; plus full-forwards Tony Boyle and Brendan Devenney.

Armagh’s improvement this year means deserved selection for tight-marking corner-back Mark McNeill, midfielder Jarlath Burns and free-scoring forward Diarmuid Marsden. The remaining member of the side is Down right half-forward Ross Carr whose man of the match display for the Mourne men in the preliminary round win over Tyrone was clearly not forgotten by the Ulster GAA fans.

Dungiven goalkeeper McCloskey went through the entire championship without conceding a goal and polled comfortably more votes than any other custodian.

The Irish News Ulster Fans’ Allstars Football Team: E McCloskey (Derry), K McKeever (Derry), SM Lockhart (Derry), M McNeill (Armagh), D Diver (Donegal), H Downey (Derry), P McFlynn (Derry), J Burns (Armagh), J McGuinness (Donegal), R Carr (Down), D Dougan (Derry), D Marsden (Armagh), J Brolly (Derry), T Boyle (Donegal), B Devenney (Donegal).

Brian McEniff’s Selection: E McCloskey, K McKeever, SM Lockhart, B McGowan (Donegal), D Diver, H Downey, K McGeeney (Armagh), P McGrane (Armagh), J McGuinness, R Carr, D Marsden, D McCabe, B Devenney, T Boyle, R Gallagher (Fermanagh).

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EDDIE King tuned up for next months Commonwealth Games by winning the 800m at last night’s open graded meeting at the Mary Peter’s track writes John Haughey.

King clocked 1.49.71 which left him ahead of Andrew Walker and Gareth Turnbull. Neil Young narrowly missed breaking Mick Bull’s long standing Northern Ireland pole vault record.

The Lisburn vaulter attempted a new height of 5.26m but he narrowly failed with all three efforts. Turnbull was presented with the Les Jones trophy which is awarded to the best U23 performer from Northern Ireland over the previous 12 months.

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Veteran soccer pundit Jimmy Hill last night announced he had left the BBC and moved to Sky Sports.

The 70-year-old Match Of The Day contributor made his decision after a quarter of a century after his contract with the Beeb ran out.

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TWO young Antrim athletes will compete at the same meeting as several of Britain’s European champions at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Stadium on Sunday.

Andrew Gregg and Kristina McCormick will race against 14 other youngsters in boys and girls 75m events in the final of the SparTrack Challenge to find the fastest under-13 runners in the UK.

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