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Irish News Past Papers - Dec 21 1998: Dermot Donnelly impressive in major Irish road race victory

DERMOT DETERMINED...Dermot Donnelly claimed victory in the Quinlan Cup road race on December 20 1998
The Irish News Archive

DERMOT Donnelly, in his first race since declaring for Ireland, produced an impressive win in yesterday’s Quinlan Cup four-mile road race in Tullamore.

Those in the west Belfastman’s wake included four in a row seeking Noel Berkeley, who could only manage fourth, plus other Irish internationals Killian Lonergan, Noel Cullen and Niall Bruton.

The Annadale Strider came home in 18.06, one second ahead of Lonergan with Cullen a further four seconds back in third.

Donnelly, after leading the from the gun, was passed by Lonergan and Cullen with three quarters of a mile to go but hung in to produce a decisive burst over the closing 500 metres.

Berkeley was dropped by the trio with just over a mile left while Bruton eventually finished ninth to secure the team title for Clonliffe.

Northerner Donnelly expressed himself delighted with his performance in the 40th running of one of Ireland’s major road races.

“I needed a race this weekend so I thought what better way than to come down here and run against my future team-mates,'' he said.

“I took it on from the start but I just couldn’t shake them.

“Noel and Killian took it on with about three quarters of a mile to go but I thought if I can just hang in there, then I might be able to take them on the run-in.”

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DERRY CITY could have won five matches with the number of chances they created in this game.

Had it not been for the performance of Dundalk goalkeeper Steve Williams, their ‘goals for’ column would have been a lot healthier this morning.

Derry threw everything at Williams except the kitchen sink, but if they had thrown that he probably would have saved that as well.

This was a classic smash-and-grab raid by Dundalk who didn’t even create a chance despite winning the game.

Their goal came from nothing and was a classic by the visitors’ veteran midfielder Tom McNulty.

The danger seemed to have passed when McNulty received a header out of the penalty area but he unleashed an unstoppable shot high into the net.

Derry City: Platt, D Kelly, Hargan, Hutton, Curran, McCann, Doherty, Hegarty, Coyle, Gauld, McHugh

Subs: M Kelly for McCann (62 mins), Gilmore for Kelly (84), McCaul for Hargan (76)

Dundalk: Williams, Redditch, Crawley, Capper, Thew, McNulty, Brennan, Campbell, Ward, Withnell, Gallagher

Subs: Byrne for Withnell (58), Harte for Brennan (73)

Ref: Eddie Barr (Dublin).

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MARK Williams, the potting prince of Wales, ended the year on the highest possible note in Dublin last night with victory over Alan McManus in the £305,000 Irish Open.

The left-handed world number five collected the inaugural trophy thanks to a 9-5 success over the Scot.

Williams pocketed a £50,000 prize for his fifth victory of the event at the National Basketball Arena.

And there was an added £3,000 Christmas bonus for being the recipient of a high break prize thanks to a 139 clearance made earlier in the week.

Williams, enjoying his first ranking win since April 1997 and the fourth of his career, dominated the match, laying the foundation for his eventual triumph by securing the first six frames.

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