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Irish News Past Papers: Oct 23 1998: Teresa Duffy makes her marathon debut in Dublin

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TERESA Duffy will chase a £5,000 first prize in her inaugural outing over the classic distance of 26 miles and 385 yards in the 98FM Dublin Marathon on Monday.

The Beechmount Harrier is one of several top international class athletes that organisers have lured to this year’s bank holiday race.

Indeed with performers of the class of recent Great North Run runner-up John Mutai, last year’s winner Joshua Kipkemboi, five times Great North winner Benson Masya and Seamus Power also heading the 5,000 plus entry, the 1998 race could be the best in the 17-year history of the event.

Duffy, now 29, has toyed with the idea of running a marathon for the past three years before finally deciding to ask herself the question in Dublin. Preparations have gone well with half-marathon victories in Lisburn during June and recently at the Foyleside event in Derry.

Like all athletes attempting their first marathon, Duffy’s longest preparatory runs in the build-up to Monday have been around the 20-mile mark but the Belfast woman is confident she will be able to get the extra distance.

Her race plan is to run at 2.42 pace – a time which would surely at least earn her a top three finish. Maltese athlete Carol Galea won 12 months ago in 2.39 and is again in the field.

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FERMANAGH manager Pat King was left making hasty preparations for today’s semi-final, with less than 24 hours notice to sort out team affairs for the play-off with Tipperary.

A mix-up in Bank Holiday guidelines by the GAA kept them in the dark until late on Thursday night about when and where this All-Ireland Senior B Football game would take place.

GAA planners originally had Fermanagh down for a Monday match, until it was pointed out the Bank Holiday only applied to the south of Ireland.

“It has left things up in the air,” said team spokesman Peter Watson, who reckoned few changes would be made to the side which defeated Antrim in the quarter-finals.

Tom Brewster isn’t likely to be called on. He has Ulster Club Championship commitments with Enniskillen Gaels to deal with on Sunday. Two other Enniskillen players, Paul Brewster and Raymond Curran, will probably miss the game also, which is set for Drumard, Longford.

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ARDBOE'S chances of winning the double in Tyrone have suffered a blow after Cookstown were awarded the points from a scheduled league game which did not take place.

The decision means leaders Carrickmore will clinch the league title if they defeat Eglish in their Division One tie.

Carrickmore could in fact be crowned league champions even if they lose, for Ardboe must defeat Omagh to keep their faltering challenge alive.

The ruling by the Tyrone Games Administration Committee comes as a major boost to Cookstown’s bid to secure Division One A status in next season’s re-structured league system.

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