On this Day in the Irish News: April 23 1999

Diarmuid Marsden was named in the Armagh team for their National Football League semi-final in April 1999 Picture by Ann McManus

Gaelic Games

By Orla Bannon

DESPITE continuing concerns over the fitness of Diarmuid Marsden and Cathal O'Rourke, both have been named in the Armagh team to face Dublin.

However the management called everyone's bluff last night by leaving the full-forward position vacant and it is not inconceivable that the midfield and entire forward line could be shuffled prior to lining out in Sunday's league semi-final.

Dublin will be kept guessing a little while longer with three quarter-final starters Paddy McKeever, Alan O'Neill and David Wilson, not to mention Crossmaglen's John McEntee and Oisin McConville all still vying for places in the forwards.

Marsden and O'Rourke, who scored four points in the win over Sligo before retiring hurt, will both undergo fitness tests tomorrow evening with O'Rourke understood to be the most doubtful.

Among the several changes is the move of Justin McNulty to midfield alongside Jarlath Burns, a position he occupied when the captain missed a few games through pneumonia earlier in the season. Paul McGrane swaps places with McNulty from the Sligo game and is pushed up to the centre half-forward berth.

John Rafferty moves across to right half-forward allowing Marsden to come back in at left half-forward having missed the quarter-final with a groin injury picked up playing for Ulster.

The full-forward line of O'Neill, O'Rourke and Wilson which lined out against Sligo has been revamped with O'Rourke at this stage named at right corner-forward and Des Mackin preferred to David Wilson in the left corner.

Expect changes in this line-up come Sunday morning.


By Orla Bannon

REPUBLIC of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy had words of comfort for his captain Roy Keane last night after the Manchester United skipper was ruled out of playing in the European Cup final.

McCarthy said it was “awful” that a booking in Wednesday night's semi-final victory over Juventus would force the Cork man to miss the glamour occasion in Barcelona on May 26.

“There couldn't be too many complaints about the booking, it was definitely a foul on Zidane, but there should be some system where yellow cards aren't carried through to the final,” he said.

“The final is the showpiece of Europe and all the best players from both teams should be allowed to compete.”

Ironically, Uefa yesterday changed the mandatory one match ban for players who receive two yellow cards and from next season, players can get three yellows before missing a match.

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