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Back in the day - Dermot Donnelly done in by dire conditions in Dunleer - Jan 17 1999

Belfast athlete Dermot Donnelly

DERMOT Donnelly was the chief sufferer of the quagmire-like conditions of yesterday’s Ras na hEireann International CrossCountry meeting at Dunleer.

As Africans Richard Limo and Million Wolde fairly skipped through the mud to fight out an exciting duel during the final lap, Donnelly fell flat on his face during the closing circuit to drop from what would have been a reasonable seventh place finish to a disappointing 11th.

As a result, instead of finishing as third Irishman, which would have proved acceptable with mucklovers Peter Matthews and Seamus Power third and fourth, Donnelly came in behind Noel Cullen, Martin McCarthy and Donegal man Padraig McKinney.

The Annadale Strider was in a far from happy mood at the finish with his comment on the course not for public consumption.

Donnelly actually led the chasing pack on the first 2K circuit as they attempted to reel in brave Russian Aleks Bolkhovilin.

The Russian stayed in front until the 6K mark when he was overhauled by Limo and Wolde who at that stage had edged clear of another six strong group which included Donnelly.

Limo and Wolde increased the pace on the fourth circuit with the top 10 by that stage well strung out. Donnelly, without looking overly comfortable, looked a good bet to finish seventh.

But it all went wrong early on the final circuit with the Belfastman falling which enabled Martin McCarthy to immediately pass him before he lost three more positions over the closing 1500m.

“After I got up, I thought I’d be OK and be able to hold onto my position at that stage. But then my chest just completely went and that was that. I was hardly moving at the end.” 

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ST ENDA'S, Glengormley kept their hopes of avoiding relegation from division one of the Antrim Football League alive with a 0-11 to 1-3 win over Rossa yesterday.

Had St Enda’s produced the form which has been evident in their final two games of the Antrim Div 1 FL they certainly wouldn’t find themselves in the pickle they now do.

With just six points from their campaign, they still remain bottom of the heap along with Rossa but their rivals have games in hand.

For the Glengormley men its going to be a long wait as they watch Rossa complete their remaining fixtures with Glenavy and Lamh Dhearg.

Mickey Coogan hit seven points for the winners yesterday with Paddy Dornan adding three precious scores as St Enda’s pulled clear in the second half.

Rossa’s goal came from a Jim Close penalty award just before the interval but the west Belfast side failed to score during the second period.

St Enda’s: M Coogan (0-7), P Dornan (0-3), E Prenter (0-1)

Rossa: J Close (1-1), P Murphy (0-1), P Stewart (0-1).

Referee: P Mullan (St Pauls).

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ERNIE Els shot a final round fourunder-par 68 to capture the Alfred Dunhill PGA Championship in Johannesburg yesterday – then declared his ambition to reclaim the world number one spot.

The South African finished on 273, 15 under par, for his third PGA title in his native country with compatriot Richard Kaplan second four shots back after a closing 70. England’s Steve Webster shared third place on 280 with three others after shooting a 70.

South African David Frost, with a closing 66, Jeev Milkha Singh of India (70) and Australian Stephen Leaney (69) were equal third. Ireland’s Paul McGinley started the final day 10 shots off the lead.

But he never looked like closing the gap to get up among the chasing pack and finished 18 shots off winner Els.

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