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Back in the day - Kevin Madden is Antrim sharpshooter - The Irish News, Feb 7 1999

Kevin Madden saved Antrim's blushes against London in February 1999 Picture by Séamus Loughran
Andy Watters

NFL Division 2A: Antrim 1-12 London 0-12

From Eamonn O’Hara at Casement Park

KEVIN MADDEN’S eight-point haul, and a deflected 57th minute jail-break goal by Kevin Brady, failed to cover-up a very poor Antrim performance or the ‘loadsaluck’ element of victory.

A saved penalty, which Derry referee Owen Roe O’Neill erred in not asking to be retaken for ‘keeper encroachment, and an early rash of missed chances, added to London’s sense of misfortune.

For the exiles, a fourth successive defeat in the NFL Division 2A series, for a distinctly unimpressive Antrim a second win from five starts.

London produced the more organised, structured football for the majority of the match, created more openings, but failure to covert chances during the opening half hour especially, conspired to defeat.

Five Nations: Ireland 9 France 10

From Orla Bannon at Lansdowne Road

CONSIDERING how sickening the defeat actually was, the buoyancy in the Irish camp afterwards was hard to understand.

No gloomy post-match analysis here. Instead an enthusiastic coach Warren Gatland preferred to talk about Ireland’s chances of winning the remaining three games. His team had been the width of a post away from a rare victory over one of the world’s superpowers but Gatland was keen to dwell on the positives.

“We played very well,” he insisted.

“We have come within one point of beating France and we’re progressing all the time.

“Anyone who wants to come to Lansdowne Road after this will know we’ll give them a game.”

Scottish Premier League: Celtic 3 Hearts 0

From Stephen O’Reilly at Celtic Park

THERE’S only one Henrik Larsson – just ask the Celtic fans. But one’s enough – just ask Hearts.

The Edinburgh side was the latest to suffer humiliation at the hands – make that feet – of the outstanding Swede.

Larsson scored the lot in Saturday’s 3-0 demolition of a team which has caused Celtic plenty of problems over the past two seasons. The visitors had been passing the ball about competently enough until the 21st minute, then their gameplan fell apart.

The win briefly reduced the Rangers’ lead to 10 points, although their win over Dunfermline last night restored the 13 point difference.

Rangers may yet sweep the team honours in Scotland – but Henrik Larsson has surely proved he is the best footballer currently playing in the Scottish Premier League.

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