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Back in the day - Armagh flattened by Whelan bombshell goal - The Irish News, May 3 1999

DIRECT CURRAN...Armagh’s Peter Loughran under pressure from Dublin’s Paul Curran during yesterday’s NFL semi-final replay

NFL semi-final replay: Armagh 0-12 Dublin 1-14

CIARAN WHELAN dropped a bombshell on Armagh's fragile and razorless challenge to reach this year's NFL final, scoring a goal 80 seconds into the second half which proved decisive as Dublin qualified for Sunday's RTE live showdown with Cork.

A shock to the system, Whelan's goal, bundled over the line between the desperate challenges of back-tracking Justin McNulty and keeper Brendan Tierney, took the wind from Armagh's sails in front of a crowd of 26,000.

His wake-up call failed to spark a response from the Ulster side, which appeared to perform well below par.

Armagh's problems were in no small part due to the loss after 10 minutes through injury of star forward Diarmuid Marsden, and while Oisin McConville produced some fine play to try and keep things ticking over, there were too many weaknesses on the day.

Whelan's goal, arriving as it did with 28 minutes to play, shouldn't have had the fatal impact it delivered, but Dublin went on to dominate in almost every sector and keep the Armagh attack under strict supervision.

A score by Paddy McKeever reduced the margin to three points in the 36th minute, but Armagh were to get no closer and over the next 12 minutes their challenge disintegrated.

Within a 10 minute period, between the 37th and 48th minutes, all the tricks and twists up the sleeves of the Dublin defence and an increasingly sharp attacking unit left them bamboozled.

A spell of six points, all but one from play, created a pace and through several neat passing exchanges produced scores from an inspired Dessie Farrell, Brian Stynes and impressive newcomer Brendan O'Brien. They sealed Armagh's fate.

The win for Dublin maintains their long-standing tradition of victories at Croke Park over Armagh opposition. This was their 12th meeting, and as yet Armagh have not won at Croke Park.

Yesterday after Whelan's goal they never looked likely to.

Armagh: B Tierney, E McNulty, G Reid, M McNeill, K Hughes (0-1), K McGeeney, A McCann, J Burns (capt), P McGrane, J Rafferty, D Marsden (0-1), J McNulty, P McKeever (0-2), O McConville (0-4), C O'Rourke (0-1).

Subs: P Loughran (0-2) for Marsden (11 mins), A O'Neill (0-1) for O'Rourke (45 mins), J McEntee for Burns (45 mins).

Dublin: D Byrne, P Moran, S Ryan, P Christie, T Lynch, P Curran, K Galvin, C Whelan (1-3), E Sheehy, J Gavin (0-2), D Darcy (0-2), B Stynes (0-2), N O'Donoghue, D Farrell (capt)(0-3), B O'Brien (0-2).

Subs: M O'Keeffe for O'Donoghue (39 mins), D Homan for Sheehy (48 mins).

Referee: Paddy Russell (Tipperary)

Attendance: 26,115

NHL: Division 2: Westmeath 0-6 Derry 3-13

Dynamic Derry maintain push for promotion

DERRY senior hurlers made history yesterday when they defeated Westmeath for the first time. An excellent all-round team performance assured Derry of the two points to keep them joint top of Division Two.

Derry opened the scoring after 30 seconds with a Gregory Biggs point. Two minutes later, Frankie Shaw sent a 25 metre free wide and Ollie Collins pointed for Derry from the puck out. Biggs did the same from another Westmeath miss.

Dermot Doherty, playing what must be his best game for the Oak Leafs scored a brace of points before Westmeath were awarded a penalty in the 19th minute. Andrew Mitchell opted for the point. Robbie Galvin and McGonagle swapped points before Mitchell got the Westmeath's first point from play in the 21st minute. McGonagle sent a 25 metre far over the bar and a minute later his lucky left boot scored Derry's opening goal.

Towards the end of the first half, Derry were totally dominant.

Michael Collins and Noel Gavin swopped points before the break to leave the half time score 1-8 to 0-4 in favour of the Ulster side. Mitchell opened the second half scoring with a pointed free before Doherty and Michael Collins pointed for Derry.

In the 10th minute, McGonagle set up Doherty for a goal and now playing with an extra spring in his step, Doherty sent the sliothar to the net. Derry with an 11 point lead were not about to let Westmeath back into the game.

Westmeath scored another point in the 18th minute and that was to prove their last score. McGonagle and Ollie Collins added points for Derry before Collins scored Derry's third goal.

Westmeath: M Briody, M Murtagh, M Williams, F Williams, B Williams, D McCormack, D Gallagher, P Williams, O Devine (0-1), G Geoghegan, M Scally, R Galvin (0-1), B Kennedy, A Mitchell (0-4, 2 frees) F Shaw.

Derry: C Stevenson, E McKeever, D McCloskey, J Young, B Ward, D Cassidy, N Mullan, C Murray, P McEldowney, O Collins (1-2), G Biggs (0-2), D Kelly, M Collins (0-2), G McGonagle (1-4, 1 free) D Doherty.

Subs: U McCloskey for M Collins, M Conway for McEldowney, D Kearney for Young.

SLIGO Institute of Technology student Sean McTernan set a new course record in yesterday's final qualifying round of the West of Ireland Amateur Golf Championship at Enniscrone. The 18-year-old Co Sligo golfer, one of a number of locals hoping to make an impact in this year's event, carded a par 72 on Saturday and set a new course record of 65 yesterday to finish as leading qualifier on 137.

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