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Back in the day - Down hurlers feeling down - The Irish News, Apr 17 1999

The Irish News Archive

DESPITE Frank Dawson’s optimism, this national hurling league campaign surely can’t come to a close quickly enough for the Ards’ men. Played five, stuffed in five, and today’s encounter against a handy Laois side, whose four league points includes a win over Wexford, is unlikely to be any different.

The Down management may point out that 22 out of the original panel of 26 players are back in the squad. But this is hardly a numbers game.

If you had asked someone three weeks ago who the best known hurlers in Down were they would have probably answered Noel Sands, Marty Mallon and Gerard McGrattan.

With such a small pick, a mechanism has got to be devised to get these men back if Down are to have a chance against Derry, let alone, Antrim this summer. In the meantime, Laois to romp home this evening.

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DOWN'S AWOL footballer Paul Higgins admitted last night that he is “missing the county scene” and hopes to have ‘clear the air’ talks with manager Peter McGrath soon.

The two-times All-Ireland medallist said he had received a call from his friend and Down’s captain James McCartan prompting the defender to consider a return after he was dropped in a recent NFL game with Mayo.

Down are due to play Antrim in their Championship opener in June.

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LONDON is not the only place where marathon aficionados will be congregating this weekend.

Turf Lodge lady Teresa Duffy will board a 6.10am flight from Aldergrove this morning en-route to hopefully producing the performance of her life in tomorrow’s Rotterdam Marathon.

Like every track & field athlete before a major assignment, Belfast star Duffy seemed a little nervous yesterday as she spoke 48 hours ahead of the race.

That uncertainty is heightened in an event which has to be regarded as one of the toughest endurance tests in sport. “I’m not feeling too bad.

There’s a few ifs or buts as there always is before a marathon but I’m feeling OK and I just hope it goes well on Sunday.” Duffy’s b

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PROFESSIONAL boxing returns to the National Stadium in Dublin for the first time in six years tonight, with an eight-fight bill taking place.

Top of the card sees Dubliner Jim Rock fight for the Irish super-middleweight title against Doncaster’s Michael Alexander.

Rock was originally due to meet Birmingham’s Gordon Behan, however Behan, whose mother hails from Mayo, pulled out of the contest with injury. Jointly topping the bill with Rock is fellow Dubliner Michael Carruth, the 1992 Olympic gold medalist, who meets Chris Saunders at welterweight. Carruth, who weighed in yesterday at 11st, has previously beaten Saunders with a 10th round stoppage in 1996.

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ANTRIM seniors played out a well-earned draw last night with Tyrone at Toomebridge.

Tyrone’s Peter Canavan and Antrim’s Kevin Madden scored six points apiece. The challenge game ended with a 0-13 to 0-13 scoreline.

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