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Action Replay: Peter Withnell signs for Cliftonville - Irish News Jan 4 1999

Dual sports star Peter Withnell (left)
The Irish News Archive

IT was a busy day of transfer activity in Dundalk yesterday with Peter Withnell’s on-off transfer to Irish League champions Cliftonville finally becoming a reality with £7,000 changing hands.

The former Down GAA star will become a Solitude player later today when he puts pen to paper after the player thrashed out personal terms with Cliftonville manager Marty Quinn.

Withnell will meet up with his new team-mates at training tomorrow night and will have a familiar face there to greet him in the form of former team-mate Fintan McConville, who is training with Cliftonville after being released by Bangor.

Marty Quinn expressed delight at finally getting his man: “Everything is done, I’m finally glad that this long running saga is over and I finally have him.

“Peter has a presence and a charisma and I think he will do very well for us.”

Withnell said that he was happy to stay at Oriel Park but could accept that the club had no choice but to sell him given the offer and said that he was relishing the opportunity of playing with his new club.

Withnell is in line to make his debut against league leaders Glentoran at Solitude on Saturday

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PHIL Taylor, the greatest darts player of all time, won his seventh world title in 10 years when he carried off the Skol PDC Championship at Purfleet last night.

A jubilant Taylor, who beat North Cheam newsagent Peter Manley 6-2 in the final, said: “One of my greatest targets was to beat snooker player Stephen Hendry’s six world titles and now I’ve got seven. It’s just great.”

Taylor’s first two world titles came at the Embassy Championship at Frimley Green in 1990 and 1992 and he has now won the Skol title five years running.

Only in 1991, 1993 and 1994 did he fail to be world champion but even in 1994 he was runner-up in the Skol event to Yorkshireman Dennis Priestley.

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IRELAND finished runners-up at the U17 International Invitational tournament yesterday in Israel after David McMahon secured a 1-0 win over Yugoslavia in the final game.

McMahon turned in Gary Dempsey’s cross after 48 minutes, but despite victory, the Irish teenagers lost out to Hungary for the overall tournament honours by virtue of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat by the Hungarians.

Istvan Pozssar stunned the Irish, who were unbeaten going into their penultimate match, with a goal for Hungary after just four minutes, firing past ‘keeper Joe Murphy from 25 yards.

A tired Ireland performance, they soaked up pressure for much of the second half, with Hungary’s second goal coming from a Martin Oross header in the 54th minute.

Although the Irish finished level on points with Hungary, and sported a better goal difference, that defeat cost them the outright success in the sixteam tournament. Hungary won their final game yesterday 1-0 against Belgium.

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FINTAN McBrien had a late penalty saved as Mayo hung on to draw 0-8 to 1-5 with Leitrim in yesterday’s FBD Connacht Football League match at Garrymore.

Pat Farrell scored Leitrim’s goal after 26 minutes.

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DISAPPOINTING draws followed vital victories for title outsiders Crusaders and Newry Town on Saturday, but the border club’s management feel both are still in the championship race.

Town’s joint boss Harry Fay rued the lack of full points on Saturday, despite coming from behind for a draw at Mourneview Park, yet refused to rule his side out as Glentoran streak ahead.

“There is still a long, long way to go. Glentoran are going through a hell of a spell, picking up 1-0 wins, but we have to keep digging in. You never know what will happen, and the important thing is we are still on their coat-tails, as are Crusaders.”

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NORTHERN Ireland manager Lawrie McMenemy fears that plans to create a biennial World Cup could effectively end international football for lesser ‘nations’.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter yesterday announced the proposals which could herald the biggest shake-up in the history of international football.

The plan is being studied by world governing body Fifa’s executive committee, and if agreed would herald a complete change of international competition.

However, Northern Ireland boss McMenemy said the proposals “would take away the magic of the competition”.

“Qualifying is currently a two-year cycle and it would certainly take 18 months, minimum. Under this plan, you wouldn’t be able to do anything else, just have a few friendlies.”

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IRISH singles champion Paul Daly continued his great run when, partnered by Jonathan Ross, he lifted the national pairs title at Shaws Bridge yesterday.

Still on a prolonged descent to earth after his surprise individual success against Neil Booth a fortnight ago, Daly was again in top form as he and the impressive Ross proved 25 – 13 superior to David Corkill and Roy Battersby who were going for their third successive pairs title.

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