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Back in the day - West Belfast karate kid Peter Comerford on top of the world - The Irish News, Jan 22 1999

HIGHKICKING... World karate champ Peter Comerford
The Irish News Archive

WEST Belfast’s karate kid, Peter Comerford has conquered the world at the tender age of 14 after competing in the World Amateur Championships in Savannah, America earlier this month.

The newly-crowned champ, who fights out of the Panthers club, is savouring his moment of glory.

“I still can’t believe I am a world champion. School teachers and friends haven’t stopped congratulating me. I’m enjoying every minute of it.”

The brown belt youngster has already won five all-Ireland titles and recently a prestigious European event in ‘98, but his exploits in Savannah, Georgia top the lot “by a mile”.

The La Salle pupil was delighted to hear that he had received an invitation to compete via the world-wide Karate Sport magazine, but didn’t imagine coming away with the top prize.

“I thought I had a reasonable chance but not to win the event,” added Peter.

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THE magical skill of Wolves wonderkid Robbie Keane was yesterday dubbed “priceless.”

Any Premiership clubs thinking of luring the Dublin-born striker away from Molineux were given what amounted to a stern “hands-off” warning.

Wolves boss Colin Lee laughed off stories that the likes of Middlesbrough and Arsenal were preparing £5million bids for the 18-year-old who is Molineux’s leading scorer this season with 14 goals.

“Talk of £5million is a joke,” said Lee.

“That wouldn’t even buy one of his arms and it’s his legs which are supposed to be valuable.” Lee, wealthy in his own right from a successful antiques business, added: “For £5million I’d buy him myself and double my money tomorrow.

“The stories are rubbish. Bryan Robson is supposed to have spoken to me about him yesterday but I haven’t spoken to Robson for ages.

“In fact, no-one has ever phoned me about Robbie Keane, or spoken to me, or former boss Mark McGhee, or made an offer.”

 

UNLIMITED VALUE... Robbie Keane (left) and Wolves team-mate Keith Curle pose with the FA Cup ahead of Sunday’s tie with Arsenal

 

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IN the league section of the Ulster Colleges Bank of Ireland McLarnon Cup yesterday, Rathmore beat La Salle by 1-13 to 0-8.

Both have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

The top players for Rathmore were Peter Murphy, who scored 1-6, Jim McKernan and Chris McCann. La Salle were best served by goalkeeper Christopher Lynch, Paul Rooney and Gerard Cunningham.

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JIM Webb, the new Irish lightmiddleweight champion, is to be presented by the Boxing Union of Ireland with his championship belt in March.

Webb boxes in Glasgow’s St Andrew’s Sporting Club on Monday when he aims to capture two titles in as many contests when he faces Clydebank’s Joe Townsley for the IBO intercontinental championship.

Unbeaten Glenn McClarnon will also be on the bill. He goes in at lightwelterweight against Dean Nicholas of South Shields.

The week before last he recorded his sixth professional win with a first round knockout of Ram Singh at London’s York Hall.

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ST JOHN'S High School, Dromore, the Tyrone U16 champions, became the first to qualify for the Ulster Bank Arthurs Cup Vocational Schools semi-final when they overran hot favourites and Down champions St Columban’s, Kilkeel on a 4-8 to 1-4 scoreline.

An entertaining game, this was sweet revenge for St John's, who had lost to the same opposition at U14 level two years ago.

With Fabian O’Neill dominating midfield and Shane O’Neill menacing in attack, St John’s increased their lead in the second half with a goal from Adrian Duddy.

Kilkeel had their only score of the half when Adrian Treanor pointed a free after 10 minutes.

Barry Quinn added St John’s third goal after a spell of strong pressure and when Ryan Cunningham added a fourth goal for the Tyrone champions the game was beyond the reach of St Columban’s.

St John’s, Dromore scorers: A Duddy (1-3), B Quinn (1-2), S O’Neill (1-1), R Cunningham (1-1), F O’Neill (0-1).

St Columban’s, Kilkeel scorers: C Walsh (1-1), A Treanor (0-2), B Doran (0-1).

 

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