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Back in the day - Dec 27 1998: GAA stars of the future shine at St Paul's

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Green Gate Ulster Minor Football Championship semi-finals

Ardboe to face Slaughtneil in final clash

Ardboe (Tyrone) 0-8 Sean Stinson’s (Antrim) 0-6

FULL marks to both teams as they battled through atrocious conditions at Shaw’s Road on Saturday before Ardboe held out for a deserved two points win to reach the Green Gate Ulster Minor Football final.

The opening ten minutes were played in lashing, driving rain with a gale force wind that continued through the match.

Sean Stinson’s faced the elements during the first half and with some excellent defensive play held the opposition to eight points while scoring once themselves.

The full-back line was particularly effective and the kick-outs from Kevin Carey were superb against the storm.

Brian McGuigan snapped up three points from free-kicks for Ardboe whose eight points didn’t seem sufficient as they had to face the wintry elements for the last 30 minutes.

The other five points were shared by five players with half-back Gavin Quinn landing a long-range effort.

After Paddy Logan pointed from midfield for Sean Stinson’s in the 35th minute, their ‘keeper Paul McAtamney pulled off a brilliant save from a point-blank Aidan Quinn rocket which gave the losers all the chance in the world of making a decisive comeback.

Logan, who was operating around midfield, landed three more points (one from a free-kick) but missed two chances from dead ball situations which proved vital in the end. Ardboe played possession football excellently.

Brian McGuigan sprayed passes around and all his colleagues responded with neat inter-weaving movements which slowed down the game.

They also intercepted the ball well with the defence on top of the situation as they positioned themselves well.

In one incident, Ardboe, in playing the ball out of defence, used five players until one got clear for a downfield kicked pass.

They played the cuter and more intelligent football which won the day.

Referee Mickey Convery also did an excellent job in the conditions as he refereed with common sense on a day when the game, which was interesting throughout with some fine football, could have turned into a lottery.

Ardboe: B McGuigan (0-3), T McGuigan (0-1), R Quinn (0-1), G Quinn (0-1), P Ryan (0-1), G Wylie (0-1).

Sean Stinson’s: P Logan (0-4), S Doherty (0- 1), J Storey (0-1).

Referee: M Convery (Derry).

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Slaughtneil 1-13 Enniskillen Gaels 0-2

THIS was a powerhouse display by the Derry champions who dominated the game for the closing 50-plus minutes with some excellent scoring and also stout defence.

Slaughtneil score-taking, after they found the range in the 20th minute, was excellent and all their 1-13 came from play.

In stark contrast, Enniskillen’s two soldiery points were from free-kicks – one in each half.

Ronan McCabe opened the scoring from a free-kick for Enniskillen in the 4th minute and they didn’t score again until the 43rd when Niall Keenan sent over a free.

Slaughtneil didn’t get their first score until the 20th minute but then they went to town.

Four more points before the interval with a spectacular one from Bernard Bradley – a superb catch, 50 metres solo and a point from far out – to leave the half-time score at Slaughtneil 0- 5, Enniskillen 0-1.

The brilliant Jim Kelly and equally effective Patrick Bradley shared four unanswered points.

The final nail in the Gaels’ hopes arrived eight minutes from time when a Kelly lob came back off the bar and busy-body Kevin O’Neill rocketed the rebound to the net.

Slaughtneil: J Kelly (0-5), K O’Neill (1-1), P Bradley (0-3), Fergal McEldowney (0-2), B Bradley (0-1), N Convery (0-1).

Enniskillen Gaels: R McCabe (0-1), N Keenan (0-1).

Referee: C Broderick (Down).

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Scottish Premier League: Dundee 0 Celtic 3

Dundee done in by buoyant Bhoys display

PHIL O’Donnell hailed Celtic’s comfortable win at Dundee last night as the perfect warm up for Sunday’s Old Firm clash with Rangers at Ibrox.

Goals from O’Donnell and Vidar Riseth inside the opening 12 minutes put the champions in the driving seat at Dens Park.

And a second half own goal by Dundee keeper Robert Douglas wrapped up a victory that cuts Rangers’ lead at the top to seven points.

“We won 3-0, and it could have been more, but the way we’ve played has been a big bonus for us,” said O’Donnell.

“We’ve got a big game on Sunday now and we’re looking forward to it. We’ll go into it full of confidence.”

Celtic beat Rangers 5-1 at Parkhead in the last clash of the Glasgow giants.

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Scottish Premier League: Rangers 1 St Johnstone 0

Antti Finn-ished at Ibrox?

FINLAND goalkeeper Antti Niemi looks set to ask Rangers for a transfer this week after being deposed by Stefan Klos, claiming his position at the club is “unacceptable”.

Niemi’s representative Richard Cody confirmed yesterday they will be trying to hold talks with Ibrox manager Dick Advocaat within the next few days.

Klos made his debut on Saturday in the 1-0 victory against St Johnstone following his £750,000 move from Borussia Dortmund.

Niemi was bitterly disappointed at being dropped after an impressive display against Hearts the previous week.

Cody said: “Antti has been very harshly treated and we need to talk to manager Dick Advocaat.

“To leave him out on Saturday was ridiculous and the situation at the moment is totally unacceptable.''[

Rangers took the points against Sandy Clark’s Saints thanks to a rare goal from Sergio Porrini in the 71st minute to stay ahead of the pack

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THE weekend weather has already cost Omagh Town one home game – and tomorrow night’s visit from Cliftonville is also in doubt due to climatic conditions.

Town manager Roy McCreadie revealed that the St Julian’s Road pitch was under several inches of snow yesterday, voicing the opinion that the game was in extreme danger of being called off.

The gale force winds on St Stephen’s Day also caused damage to the Tyrone venue, with fencing torn up outside the ground and parts of the stand ripped off too.

McCreadie praised referee Frankie Hiles for his decision to call off Saturday’s meeting with Newry Town while all other Premiership players had to battle with the elements.

He said: “In hindsight it was the correct decision, though at the time it was made I thought it was wrong.

“At least Frankie Hiles was thinking ahead - when we were supposed to kick off the weather was absolutely horrendous.”

McCreadie saw another silver lining in the cancellation of the match.

“The good thing is that Portadown’s game was abandoned and the other two teams we believe we can catch, Cliftonville and Coleraine, both lost.

“We now have a game in hand and it is important that we capitalise on that.”

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