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Back in the day - Colomiers suffer injury blow ahead of European Cup final date with Ulster - The Irish News, Jan 30 1999

Ulster Rugby Players simon Mason (left) and David Humphreys Captain relaxing after there final press conference before Saturday's European Cup Final against Colomiers at Landsdowne Road. Photo by Paul Faith/PA. (EDI)

COLOMIERS received a late blow to their preparations for their European Cup final against Ulster with confirmation centre Mickel Carre will miss the game through injury.

The 25-year-old failed an eleventh hour fitness test on a hamstring injury and is replaced by Jerome Sieurac in the centre. Carre’s absence proved there was some substance to the French gamesmanship after all.

At yesterday morning’s extremely tense press conference in the Berkeley Court Hotel, Colomiers team manager George Floureusse announced that the team selection would be delayed until later in the afternoon.

With the announcement already two days late, the news was greeted with some derision from the Ulster camp who sensed foul play.

Having already shown his hand announcing his line-up on Wednesday, coach Harry Williams was asked how his preparations were going and declared: “We play as selected”.

Better news for the French was that influential scrum-half Fabien Galthie, who has missed most of the competition, came through a late fitness test last night as did flanker Patrick Tabacco, who has scored three tries in the competition.

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DESCRIBING the last few days as “painful and distressing”, Ulster Branch chief executive Michael Reid has revealed that a membership scheme will be in place next season so that the scramble for tickets witnessed ahead of today’s European Cup final can be avoided.

Having received numerous calls from irate supporters unable to snaffle some of the precious 28,000 Ulster tickets, Reid intends to make sure things are better organised in future.

“I would have to hold my hands up and say we haven’t done as well as we should have done,” he said.

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TEENAGE apprentice printer Philip McMahon reeled off a sensational last round stoppage to give Belfast the whip hand in The Irish News “Tale of Two Cities” clash with Dublin at the Balmoral Hotel in Belfast.

McMahon (17) was facing imminent defeat but produced a brave and desperate last minute volley of punches to floor Ballymun lightwelterweight rival Darren Lowe just before the bell. Lowe had forced a standing count earlier in the bout and had rocked McMahon with a superb right in the third before the Bangor lad produced a superb effort to beat the odds.

His victory followed another superb result in fight one by 15-year-old Abbey ABC stablemate Paul Moffett.

He stunned triple Irish champion James Stevens of Crumlin, the same boxer who had denied him a place in the Irish championship finals last season at 57 kilos.

Emerald’s highly-talented prospect Thomas O’Neill stretched Belfast’s early advantage to 4-1 with a fine second round retirement of Sacred Heart’s Robert Stafford at 57 kilos. O

Latest Results: 57 kilos: Paul Moffett (Abbey) bt J Stephens (Crumlin) Unanimous points; C Fox (Star) bt T Lynch (Sacred Heart) Unanimous points 54 kilos: K Wright (Midlands/White City) lost to A Blythe (Arbour Hill) unanimous points 63.5 kilos: P McMahon (Abbey) bt D Lowe (Ballymun) RSCR3 57 kilos: T O’Neill (Emerald) bt R Stafford (Sacred Heart) RSCR2.

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