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Back in the Day - Mar 14, 1999: Derry power past hapless Down in NFL clash

 Adrian McGuckin still hoping to reach the NFL quarter-finals with Derry, 20 years ago

DERRY’S post-Christmas renaissance continued in devastating fashion yesterday when the Oak Leafers totally over whelmed a mediocre Down outfit at Celtic Park [1-16 to 0-5].

While delighted with what he described as ‘a very good over all team performance’, joint manager Adrian McGuckin looked a little disappointed that such a crushing victory may still not be enough for the play-offs.

“Other results have gone against us a little bit,” he said. “But all we can do is win our last match against Laois and hope for the best. We would be very keen to make the quarter-finals but we’ll have to wait and see what happens elsewhere”.

One could only feel sorry for Down supporters yesterday. Too many big names not performing on the day, allied to lack of quality in other positions, left Derry rampant in all areas of the

field.

Down were a shadow of the side which graced the intercounty scene earlier this decade and Pete McGrath looks to have his work cut out to shape any kind of Championship side out of yesterday’s offerings.

That Down’s only score from play came from Aidan Farrell in injury-time tells a revealing tale about this mismatch.

Derry: E McCloskey, S Donnelly, D O’Neill, S M Lockhart, F Crossan, J McBride, G Coleman (0-1), R Boylan (0-1), E Muldoon (0-3, 1 free), A Tohill (0-2), D Dougan (0-2), D Heaney, J Brolly (1-4, 1 free), D Bateson, J Cassidy (0-1) Sub: G McGonigle (0-2) for Brolly (55 mins).

Down: M McVeigh, F Caulfield, S Ward, P Matthews, D Flynn, M Magill, P Higgins (0-1 free), B Burns, S Poland, S Mulholland (0-1, free), A Farrell (0-1), J McCartan, Gerard Deegan (0-2, 2 frees), Gregory Deegan (0-1, free), L Parr Subs: A Molloy and C Deegan for S Mulholland and D Flynn (48); Shane Ward for Gregory Deegan (50).

Referee: Brendan Gorman

********

ANTRIM, on a first visit to Drogheda in 10 years, lost their way in the last 20 minutes of yesterday’s match with Louth and finished a well beaten side [1-17 to 1-8].

Chasing a first league win since Christmas, Aidan Thornbury’s charges were troubled by Louth’s physical approach in the opening half, but stayed in touch, due mainly to Kevin Brady’s third minute goal.

Brady was on hand to finish the ball to the net after Declan Gallagher had his shot stopped on the line, and that made it 1-1 to 0-2, scores coming in rapid succession in a frantic opening.

Antrim lost touch for a while after that and by the time Kevin Madden added to those early scores with a well taken point, in the 21st minute Louth had six points to their credit, all but one of them coming from sharpshooter, Alan Doherty.

A further Madden point brought the sides level, but there should have been more in the Antrim bag.

Louth scored three further points, and at the interval led by 0-10 to 1-3.

Ronan Hamill then brought the best out of Louth’s goalie Niall O’Donnell, with a rasping shot which yielded a point, and after Doherty pulled one back for the locals, Joe Quinn left Antrim trailing by just one point with a well taken score.

Louth took command, scoring 1-3 before letting their opponents in for their one remaining score, a Ciaran O’Neill point, coming in the 53rd minute.

Louth: N O’Donnell, B Phillips, S Melia, N Malone, C Fitzpatrick, G O’Neill, J Clerkin, A O’Neill (0-1), K Reilly, N Sharkey (0-1), S O’Neill (0-1), A Rooney (0-1), D Reilly, C O’Hanlon (1-2), A Doherty (0-8) Subs: B Reilly for Fitzpatrick, C Kelly (0-3) for Rooney.

Antrim: D Shannon, M Mulholland, C McKearney, B Elliott, G Adams, C O’Neill (0-1), P McCann (0-1), J Quinn (0-1), J Murphy, M Boyle, A Donnelly, K Brady (1-1), D Gallagher, R

Hamill (0-1), K Madden (0-3) Subs: G Flynn for Gallagher, G Nugent for Hamill.

Referee: E Stenson (Leitrim)

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LENNOX Lewis would be concerned for Evander Holyfield’s well-being if the champion heavyweights were to fight again.

The rematch was on everybody’s lips after Lewis was awarded only a controversial draw in Saturday night’s three-title showdown at Madison Square Garden.

The WBC champion tried to overcome the bitter disappointment of his so-near-yet-so-far disappointment, insisting: “A rematch would put him in some physical danger. He has to start looking at the health aspect.

“They say he might even have broken his ribs. He looked different at the end of the fight, like a man living in a fantasy world.

“I don’t think Evander will want to fight in the rematch."

Lewis earned $10million against $20million for Holyfield from Saturday debacle.

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