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The Irish News Archive: Sep 18 1998: Brian McEniff backs Ballyshannon in Donegal final

The Irish News Archive

THE ‘Spirit of The Glen’ is the je ne sais quoi factor which could separate Naomh Columba and Ballyshannon in Sunday’s Donegal senior football final at Ballybofey.

It can’t be bottled or bought but it is a gift from the gods and Noel Hegarty has always had it when it counts. Hegarty and his hardy gaeltacht men have known heartache in six county finals in recent years.

And they lost to Sunday’s opponents a mere four years ago. No shortage of motivation there for the citizens of Slieve League who have taken a plethora of Donegal league titles in the 80s.

But it is Dr Maguire they want and Ballyshannon’s Sylvester Maguire is most determined that his side can take a title and ‘on the field’ after last year’s boardroom victory over St Eunan’s.

That was the spur which drove Letterkenny past Killybegs after three gruelling ties – until they met the magnificent Hegarty in drizzly Donegal town last Sunday night.

“I’m going for Ballyshannon because of their greater all round balance but how can you measure the spirit of the Glen,” said Ulster Railway Cup boss Brian McEniff

But despite McEniff’s prediction, Noel Hegarty and John Joe Doherty might just be bringing Dr Maguire for a tour of Slieve League on Sunday night.

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WAYNE McCULLOUGH has parted with his chief American trainer Thel Torrance - less than seven weeks ahead of a scheduled grudge fight with Naseem Hamed for the WBO featherweight title.

He is now set to face undefeated world champion Hamed in the legendary boardwalk and blackjack setting of Atlantic City on October 31.

The final sparring and tactical training will be looked after by Kenny Croom, Torrance’s 43-year-old right hand man.

Croom has worked with McCullough for over three years since the Belfast boxer won the WBC bantamweight title in Japan in July of 1995.

He guided much of the Irishman’s preparations for last year’s unsuccessful move to challenge then WBC super-bantamweight titleholder, Daniel Zaragoza.

Croom’s association goes back to the first world championship defence made by the former Albert Foundry ABC star against Johnny Bredahl of Denmark two years nine months ago in Belfast. “It’s probably good for me,” says McCullough, who has signed to meet Hamed in a two million dollar showdown, with the contract guaranteeing him $600,000

THERE is no stopping Paddy Gribben just now as more honours fell into his lap at Athlone yesterday, writes Tony McGee.

Yet it was the steel nerved Gribben who really clinched the Barton Shield for the Warrenpoint landing the winning putt in the final of the Bulmer’s All-Ireland Cup & Shield finals yesterday evening as the Ulster representatives pushed aside Co Sligo by one hole.

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SCOTLAND'S Commonwealth Games team had to call upon an emergency kit supply after they discovered their original outfits were too small.

The original kit, supplied on Monday, were only made for 11- to 13-year-olds and most of the athletes could not even get it over their heads.

“It was absolutely ridiculous,” said Vikki McPherson.

“I would have had to have put eye-slits in my crop-top if I was going to wear it, and even then it would have been rather embarrassing.”

Brendan Foster’s ‘View From’ clothing company stepped in to supply the team with a replacement kit.

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MEXICAN veteran Julio Cesar Chavez, beaten to a pulp by World Boxing Council welterweight champion Oscar de la Hoya two years ago, faces mission impossible mark two in Las Vegas in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

The two clash again, with de la Hoya’s title at stake and the unbeaten American promising a knockout.

The 25-year-old not only has an 11-year advantage on his opponent but can also boast 28 wins in as many fights, including 23 inside the distance.

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