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Back in the day - New boss Seamus Elliott names his first Antrim hurling squad - The Irish News, Feb 1 1999

St John's hurling star Brian McFall with Eire Og's Paul Hughes in the Antrim Intermediate hurling final at Casement Park, Belfast. Picture by Seamus Loughran
The Irish News Archive

BALLYCASTLE hurler Paul Jennings may have played his last inter-county game for Antrim.

Jennings was omitted from the Antrim senior panel announced by manager Seamus Elliott last night after not turning up to several recent training sessions organised by the new team boss.

The Antrim management are understood to be keen not to close the door totally on Jennings and the Ballycastle man may be approached in the coming months.

However, the likelihood is that Jennings could follow his club-mate Paul McKillen into inter-county retirement.

Like Gregory O’Kane, another Dunloy clubman Colm McGuckian has asked to be excused from the panel for the moment.

McGuckian is ruled out by work commitments but as with O’Kane, the midfielder is expected to return to the squad well before the Ulster Championship.

Elliott’s first panel contains 10 players from last year’s Antrim U21 panel but also includes experienced men such as Jackie Carson and Seamus McMullan.

Predictably Dunloy, by far the dominant club in Antrim hurling during the 1990s, lead the way with 10 panelists.

Antrim SH panel: (Rossa) R Matthews, Chris Hamill, Anton Rogan, Sean Kelly, Jim Connolly; (Dunloy) Shane Elliot, Liam Richmond, Gary O’Kane, Paudie McMullan, Seamus McMullan, Frankie McMullan, Conor Cunning, Alistair Elliott, Sean Mullan, Malachy Molloy; (St John’s) Brian McFall, Michael O’Neill; (Sarsfields) Gareth Ward; (Loughgiel) Sean Paul McKillop, Eoin McCloskey, DD Quinn; (Glenariffe) Johnny MacIntosh; (Cushendall) John Carson, Aidan Delargy, Conor McCambridge, Ciaran McCambridge; (St Gall’s) Johnny Flynn; (Ballycastle) Malachy Dallas, Ronan Donnelly, Owen Colgan; (Armoy) Martin McClafferty; Aidan Mort (Cushendun).

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THE Finn Valley team for Sunday’s European Women’s Clubs CrossCountry Championships is Lanciano, Italy is: Kay Byrne, Rosaleen Campbell, Catriona McGranaghan, Ita Boyle and Belinda McArdle.

Officials Neil Martin and Patsy McGonagle will accompany the team.

Meanwhile, Susan Smith broke the Irish 60H indoor record in Tennessee over the weekend. Smith is the only Irish athlete who so far has achieved a World Indoor Championship qualifying time.

Emily Maher made it a good weekend for Irish women athletes by breaking the national indoor 200m record at the Scottish indoor championships. Maher clocked 24.15.

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BRIAN McKenna, Clonoe’s 14-year-old prospect at 48 kilos, scored an excellent win over last year’s Ulster champion and All-Ireland finalist Colin Fisher of Shamrock ABC at Saturday’s finals of the Tyrone Championships in Omagh Boys Club.

McKenna has been selected for the Tyrone team to box a Leinster select at Athy, County Kildare on February 13.

Clonoe boxers took five titles at the county finals.

Jason Dobbin beat Dromore’s Gerard McCourt at 36 kilos, Brian Gervin beat Eamonn Donnelly, also of Dromore, at 42 kilos, while there were walkover wins for 11-year-old Edward Jones and 12-year-old Tony O’Neill in the Boys 1 and 2 divisions at 36 kilos and 51 kilos.

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ZINEDINE Zidane was last night crowned Fifa World Player of the Year, with Inter Milan star Ronaldo second and Croatian striker Davor Suker third.

Ex-Cliftonville chairman Jim Boyce received the Fair Play award on behalf of the IFA, joint winners with the USA and Iran.

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A GATHERING of 60 children picketed outside Belfast’s city hall in protest of the mooted closing down of the Danny Blanchflower playing fields, Sydenham.

The motion was expected to be rubber-stamped at the city councillors monthly meeting last night.

The secretary for the South Belfast Boys league, John Cassidy said: “We had to turn down ten teams this year. We need more pitches instead of less.”

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