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The Irish News Archive: Sep 5 1998: Peter Withnell strike fails to halt champions St Patrick's Athletic

Dual GAA and soccer star Peter Withnell
The Irish News Archive

FAI Harp Lager National League: St Patrick’s Athletic 3 Dundalk 1

A GOAL by Peter Withnell just after the hour mark gave Dundalk hope but champions St Patrick’s Athletic ran out 3-1 winners to get new manager Liam Buckley off to a winning start and leave Dundalk firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

The champions were well worth their 41st minute lead given to them by an exquisite goal by captain Eddie Gormley. Tom McNulty had to clear Martin Wylie’s fifth minute effort off the line and Paul Osam had headed straight at Williams before Trevor Molloy laid the ball off to Gormley.

He curled a 35-yard shot past Steve Williams and in off the left upright to give St Pat’s the lead at half-time.

Dundalk opened the second-half brightly and Mick Doohan saw his header to the far post fall onto the roof of the net after four minutes.

Deja vu struck after 56 minutes.

Just as last week the Lilywhite defence looked in vain for offside on Trevor Molloy from Martin Russell’s quick free, and Molloy buried the ball under Williams at his near post.

Withnell threw Dundalk a lifeline dispatching Ray Campbell’s cross from the right with an excellent volley to the bottom left-hand corner on 63 minutes.

Any hopes of an equaliser were dashed less than 10 minutes later.

Martin Reilly ran at the heart of the Dundalk defence.

He was forced wide but crossed back to Molloy at the edge of the box and his shot was deflected in by Ian Gilzean. Robbie Devereaux nearly made it four with five minutes left, but his shot destined for the top right hand corner was superbly saved by Williams.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Wood, Crolly, Long, McGuinness, Doyle, Gormley, Osam, Russell, Reilly, Gilzean, Molloy.

Subs: Moody for McGuinness, Devereaux for Reilly.

Dundalk: Williams, McNulty, Doohan, Brady, Crawley, Campbell, Thew, Melvin, Hoey, Withnell, Ward.

Subs: Reddish for Campbell, Hammon for Withnell.

Ref: Paul McKeown (Dublin)

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NATIONAL middleweight champion Brian Magee, currently in Kuala Lumpur preparing to lead the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games assault, could be the next big loss to the amateur boxing scene.

Recent developments, including an offer to meet with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Organisation in Las Vegas, suggest that the Belfast southpaw is a good bet to embark on a pro career before the season ends.

Commonwealth medal hot favourite Magee has been the subject of intense interest from professional camps and agents ever since his superb performances at the ‘96 Atlanta Olympics.

After taking double gold in 1997, first at the Liverpool multinations event and then the Muhammad Ali Cup in Louisville, the pressure to turn pro has increased significantly.

So much so that the Holy Trinity star was within a whisker of pulling out of the Northern Ireland Games squad just days before the boxing team was due to fly to Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

It is understood that Magee left the squad’s Balmoral Hotel headquarters last Tuesday and was AWOL until Thursday as he reflected on – and finally plumped for – the merits of the Games’ amateur challenge.

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IRELAND’S triple Olympic gold medalist Michelle de Bruin has appealed against the four-year ban imposed on her by swimming’s world governing body FINA after it found her guilty of manipulating a doping test.

De Bruin, formerly Michelle Smith, filed the appeal with the International Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Thursday and could be swimming competitively by Christmas if her appeal is successful.

CAS spokesman Matthieu Reeb said the Swiss-based international court would most likely be de Bruin’s final opportunity for appeal.

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