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Back in the day - Cliftonville expelled from Irish Cup final - The Irish News, Apr 30 1999

DECISION MAKERS...Ken Prichard (second from right) (Chairman of the IFA Senior Clubs Committee) outlines the reasons for Cliftonville’s expulsion from this season’s Irish Cup final. Also pictured are (l to r) David Bowen (General Secretary IFA), Terry Graham and Brain Houston both from sponsors Bass Ireland
The Irish News Archive

THE ‘Spirit of ‘99’ will long be remembered as one of gloom and bitterness after Cliftonville were eliminated from the Bass Irish Cup final yesterday.

Simon Gribben’s substitute appearance in the Reds’ semi-final replay win over Linfield, after previously playing in the competition for junior side Kilmore Rec, ultimately proved highly costly.

Indeed when one considers lost revenue from tickets and merchandising, and possible Uefa Cup gains, Gribben could prove ‘the most expensive Irish League footballer ever’ for Cliftonville, whose estimated loss is between £30,000 and £70,000.

Cliftonville’s hardest 90 minutes ended at 11.30 yesterday morning when the IFA Senior Clubs Committee announced that Cliftonville would be eliminated and Gribben banned for two games.

With no cup final to take place tomorrow, Portadown will be awarded the trophy, £10,000 prize money, and Uefa Cup spot.

Reds Secretary John Duffy has bravely said hend is considering stepping down at the end of this season.

He would be a sad loss to Cliftonville and he also revealed that Gribben has talked about never playing football again.

Duffy was downbeat but commented: “It could have been much more severe. We can’t say the IFA has done us down because we could have been banned from the competition for at least a season.”

IFA general secretary David Bowen said: “The committee discussed the situation in great detail and made the unanimous decision that under rule three of the Challenge Cup, Cliftonville should be eliminated from the competition.”

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ST OLCAN’S, Randalstown hit two late goals to defeat Our Lady of Lourdes Ballymoney in yesterday afternoon’s Antrim Vocational Schools Junior Hurling League game.

Randalstown led by a point at half time, 1-3 to 1-2, with Mark O’Boyle the goal-scorer.

But Anthony McQuillan goaled from a free for Ballymoney, and they led by two points going into the final five minutes, when O’Boyle and Kevin Sheerin shot match winning goals for St Olcan’s.

St Olcan’s scorers: Mark O’Boyle (2-0), Kevin Sheerin (1-2), Niall McCoy (0-2), Shane Donnelly (0-1).

Our Lady of Lourdes scorers: Anthony McQuillan (1-1), John Dillon (1-0), Tony McCullough (0-2), Anthony Cochrane (0-1).

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MAYOBRIDGE survived a storming Liatroim comeback to go into the next round to win 0-17 to 2-10 in last night’s opening clash of Down Senior Football Championship.

Mayobridge: E McConville, B Rodgers, S McMahon (0-1), D Tighe, G Barry,F Poland, C O’Hare, D Rooney, O Woods, N Sexton, M Walsh (0-2), B Coulter (0-2), R Sexton (0-2), M Linden (0-6), R Coulter (0-5)

Sub: J Coulter for K Barry Liatroim: P Dugan, B McAleenan, D McCrickard, P Morgan, M Keary, L Doyle (1-1), E Clark, E Middleton, C McCrickard (0-2), J McCrickard, B McCrickard, D Burns (1-6), A Rice, A O’Prey (0-1), D Morgan

Subs: JP Owens for Rice, J Savage for Clark, D Doyle for Morgan

Ref: H P McCusker (Ballela)

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