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Back in the day: Oct 11 1998: Dungiven hurlers denied by Ballygalget's late salvo

UNDER CONTROL...Dungiven’s John A Mullan takes possession of the sliothar with Ballygalget’s Liam Clarke in hot pursuit during the 1998 Ulster Club Hurling semi-final at Corrigan Park
The Irish News Archive

AIB Ulster Club Hurling semi-final Ballygalget 3-9 Kevin Lynchs 1-12

TO describe Ballygalget’s passage into the AIB Ulster Club final as an act of larceny would be unfair.

The Down champions had contributed far too much to this wonderful match to be derided as robbers.

But Kevin Lynchs were comfortably the better side in the second half - the period of time which invariably proves decisive in such tight clashes.

With two minutes left Dungiven after some stirring second-half play were as many points ahead.

Then, Down inter-county custodian Graham Clarke’s puck out was fielded magnificently by Johnny McGrattan.

The stocky McGrattan surged straight at the Dungiven defence before playing a pass to his right to the unmarked Martin Coulter Jnr. Coulter, like a marksmen sizing up his target, took deliberate aim before unleashing a sweet shot across James Donaghy into the roof of the Lynchs net.

Within 40 more seconds Dungiven hurling’s world had truly caved in with Donaghy unable to prevent Philbin Savage’s powerful drive from trickling over the line after the keeper had got his stick onto the ball.

The shell-shocked Kevin Lynchs defence was all at sea during that moment.

It bore a total contrast to what had transpired before with Kieran McKeever named at right wing-back but playing a sweeping role, in particular, producing an outstanding hour in the swirling conditions.

Ballygalget: G Clarke, L Clarke, K Coulter, E Dorrian, M Coulter Snr (0-2), P Coulter (0-1), D Byers, P Monan (0-1), B McGrattan, Paddy Savage, B Coulter (1-2), B Smyth, M Coulter Jnr (1-1), J McGrattan (0-1), Philbin Savage (1-1).

Subs: B Gallagher for Paddy Savage h-t, P Braniff for B McGrattan 45, M Pucci for D Byers 54.

Dungiven: J Donaghy, E Friel, E McKeever, C O’Donnell, K McKeever, N Mullan, B Kelly, R McCloskey, HP Mullan (0-4), P McCloskey, B McGilligan (1-0), M McCracken, K Hinphy, G McGonigle (0-7), JA Mullan (0- 1).

Sub: P Sweeney for B Kelly 60 mins.

Referee: T McIntyre (Antrim)

Ulster Women’s Football Championship final: St Eunan’s, Letterkenny 1-7 St Macartan’s, Tyrone 1-5

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DONEGAL champions, St Eunan’s, Letterkenny won their third Ulster title in a row when they narrowly defeated Tyrone kingpins St Macartan’s in the provincial decider at Celtic Park, Derry yesterday.

A splendid second-half performance against the breeze was the foundation stone upon which the St Eunan’s girls lifted the championship crown.

Despite the fact that they played with the wind in the first half the defending champions trailed 1-3 to 0-5 at the break.

St Macartan’s extended their lead to a two points margin three minutes into the second half but managed just one further point with the breeze at their backs.

Despite the fact that they went 20 minutes without a score in the second period St Eunan’s grabbed an all important goal after 51 minutes when corner-forward Nadine Doherty finished a move involving three players.

That strike gave St Eunan’s a 1-5 to 1-4 lead and two points from midfielder Deirdre Sweeney and Doherty sealed their victory.

St Eunan’s: S Bradley, M Monaghan, L O’Sullivan (capt), B Clarke, N McNamee, L McCusker, S O’Sullivan, D Sweeney (0-3), M Devenney, D Lee-Fox, C Ferry, D Kavanagh. S Tinney, C McAteer (0-2), N Doherty (1-2)

St Macartan’s: E McElroy, H McElroy, M Kelly, C Kelly, C Daly, L Donnelly, B McCaughey, U McElroy, L McGirr, F Shevlin (capt), E Kelly (0-2), S McGirr (0- 2), K A Tener (1-1), B Holland, D Kelly Subs: M Hackett for F Shevlin (40), R McKenna for Tener (51)

Ref: Peter Cassidy (Derry)

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MONAGHAN champions Aughnamullen claimed the Ulster Junior title with a 2-7 to 2-5 victory over Donegal representatives Four Masters, a win more convincing than the scoreline suggests.

Only 20 hours after beating the holders Newtownbutler 2-11 to 1-10, the Farney girls took the provincial crown, their goals coming from Mary Connolly and Emma McGinnty, Laura Quinn and Carmel Burns netting late on for Four Masters.

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Antrim Intermediate Football Championship St Paul's 1-11 Rasharkin 1-4

St Pauls’ claim another title

WHAT a difference a week can make in sport.

Just seven days after seeing their hurlers win the Bushmills Division Two title, St Paul’s footballers, in a year where success at this level has been light, took on board the intermediate crown while Rasharkin, seven days after losing the minor football title to Sean Stinsons again had to take it on the chin.

Up for this one, St Paul’s were intent on avenging a 1978 defeat by St Mary's at this level and did so in fine style.

Their crisp, direct and above all accurate approach set them aside from the opposition who, on this occasion, always struggled to retain any semblance of their league form.

A goal from corner forward Jamesy O’Neill at the end of the first quarter put daylight between the sides and, with Rasharkin scoring only twice from Barry McNally and Dominic Kelly frees, St Paul’s led 1-5 to 0-2 at the break.

Two more second half points, again from Kelly and McMullan frees, were no match for the much sharper St Paul’s attackers and Pat Kavanagh, Garvan Mitchell and Barry Burns gave them a 1-10 to 0-4 lead as the clock gradually wound down.

A late Rasharkin goal from corner man Owen Quinn and a great stop by the St Paul’s keeper Paul Gault saw some spark from the St Mary’s attack but James O’Neill fittingly enough, had the final say with a late point which took his personal contribution to 1-4.

Team captain Hughes, McKenna, Nicholl, Ward, Gamble, Donnelly, Mitchell, Burns and O’Neill will certainly remember this St Paul’s success with some pride as can Hardy, Hasson, McNeill, O’Boyle, Quinn and Dunlop despite being on the wrong end of the result.

St Paul's: P Gault, C Hartley, C McKenna, P Nicholl, N Ward, J Hughes, D Gamble, F Donnelly, P Crossan, C Sweeney, P Kavanagh (0-2), P Donnelly, G Mitchell (0-2), B Burns (0-3), J O’Neill (1-4).

Rasharkin: S Hardy, P McGaughey, T Lynch, P Kennedy, S Hardy, P Hasson, A McNeill, J McNeill, D O’Boyle, B McMullan (0-2), P McFearon, D O’Boyle, O Quinn (1-0), D Kelly (0-2), A Dunlop.

Subs: D Dunlop, P Baird.

Referee: J Murray (McDermotts)

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