Back in the day - Sep 27 1998: Owen Mulligan inspires Red Hand revenge as Tyrone minors defeat Laois to lift All-Ireland honours

TITLE TRACK...Tyrone’s Owen Mulligan celebrates after his goal strike launched the Red Hand county on the road to All-Ireland glory at Croke Park yesterday
The Irish News Archive

All-Ireland Minor Football Championship final: Laois 0-11 Tyrone 2-11

A GROWN MAN, a teacher, a coach, a priest.

A man toughened with resolve after years of facing questions. Father McAleer was humbled by the occasion.

The guard of honour which defeated Laois formed to pay homage to the new underage champions of Croke Park, brought a tear to his eye. Tears which also told tales of two traumatic years.

Tears for the memory of Tyrone footballer Paul McGirr who died during last year’s championship campaign and tears for the victims of the Omagh bomb atrocity.

Afterwards Tyrone manager Mickey Harte bore a championship-winning smile in the same changing room which played host to pain this time last year.

“There simply aren’t any words that can describe this,” said Harte.

“I played in the 1972 final and lost. I always regret that. It hurt then and it still hurts today and I told these players that they do not want to feel the way I felt all those years ago.

“Eight years of management and then this, it’s great, it makes up for the wait.”

Kevin Skelton, who lost his wife Philomena in the Omagh bomb disaster was greeted by players who filed orderly to welcome him into their joy.

He hugged every one of them, held the Markham Cup and looked deep into it and smiled.

He smiled for his native county.

Tyrone: P McConnell, G Devlin, M McGee, F Loughran, C Meenagh, D O’Hanlon, P O’Neill (0-1), C McAnallen, Kevin Hughes, G Wylie, M Hughes (0-1), S O’Neill, A Lynch (0-4), E McGinley (1-0), O Mulligan (1- 4).

Subs: B McGuigan for M Hughes, R O’Neill for K Hughes.

Laois: J Graham, R Jones, B Gaynor, C Clear, A Fennelly, P Leonard, B McCormack (0-2), B Fitzpatrick (0-1, sent off 60mins), J Behan, M Dunne, B McDonald (0-7), K Kelly (0- 1), J M. McDonald, P Clancy, M Clancy.

Subs: D Walsh for M Dunne, J Moran for J M. McDonald, B O’Connell for M Clancy


CAUGHT RED HANDED...Laois Minors found the power and pace of Tyrone to much in yesterday’s Minor Final as Tyrone's Kevin Hughes (above) evades Laois defenders John Behan and John McDonald to set up an attack




Bank of Ireland All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final: Galway 1-14 Kildare 1-10 The West’s awake

Galway victory puts Connacht back on the footballing map

AFTER a disappointing year spent largely in the shadow of the hurlers, the Bank of Ireland senior football championship yesterday finally produced.

One of the most open and exciting All-Ireland finals of recent years, only the lack of a Kildare comeback or last-minute goal prevented it from being a classic.

But after 32 years of waiting in both Galway and Connacht for an All-Ireland football win, victorious captain Ray Silke was quick to recognise the significance of Galway's achievement.

“Mayo came up here in 96’ and 97’ and were unlucky. Hopefully this will open the floodgates like when Down won the 1991, and there will be Connacht teams here on a more regular basis. It’s too long for any scribe to be making up excuses,” he said with a grin.

The Corofin defender claimed his team were always confident their direct, fast-running game would overcome Kildare as it had last month against Derry in the semi-final – even at half-time when Galway had looked suspect in defence and were three points adrift.

He pointed in particular to the part the pacy forwards and overall fitness had played in this long awaited victory.

“They put on an awful lot of pressure – their short possession, hard-working game is very, very tiring. My own legs felt very tired in the first half,” he said.

“When you are under the cosh you feel tired, but when you’re on top you feel great and as long as you have talents like Michael Donnellan, Jarlath Fallon and Derek Savage you are always in with a chance.”


BELFAST flyweight Damaen Kelly survived a fifth round touchdown scare at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut to chalk up his seventh straight professional victory.

The busy 25-year-old Turf Lodge fighter took the verdict on all the judges’ scorecards against unbeaten Mike Thomas from Baltimore but the fully deserved triumph had its downside.

elly, who was in total command of the early proceedings with two fisted flurries peppering the smaller American, picked up a nasty cut just over his left eye in a tough fifth round.

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