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Back in the day - Fergal McCusker set for Derry return - The Irish News, May 14 1999

Fergal McCusker (above) will be on the bench for Derry’s McKenna Cup final clash with Armagh
The Irish News Archive

FERGAL McCusker could make his first appearance for Derry in over a year in Sunday’s Dr McKenna Cup final against Armagh.

The Glen forward has been plagued by a series of hamstring injuries and hasn’t played since coming on in the National Football League final against Offaly last April.

McCusker is now back in full training and listed among the substitutes for the match at Omagh (7pm).

John Donaldson, newly acquired by Crossmaglen, will play his first game for Armagh in five years on Sunday.

Having switched allegiances from Louth back to Armagh, the defender lines out at centre half-back for his native county.

Tony McEntee plays at right corner-back, his first start since returning from Crossmaglen’s successful All-Ireland campaign, while Aidan O’Rourke makes his first start of this season in the left corner.

O’Rourke, a younger brother of Cathal, played in the National League last year.

Alan O’Neill of Cullaville has been in and out of the Armagh team but lines out alongside Jarlath Burns in midfield.

Paul McGrane is understood to be struggling with a hamstring injury and didn’t travel with the team to Tuesday night’s challenge match defeat against Meath.

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NATIONAL senior boxing champions, flyweight Liam Cunningham (Saints) and middleweight Conall Carmichael (Holy Trinity), have been selected to compete for Ireland in next week’s Tofalia multi-nations tournament in Greece.

Ireland has announced a seven-strong squad for the seven-day competition in the seaside town of Patras.

Dungiven light welter Paul McCloskey (St Canice’s) and Holy Family/Golden Gloves bantam William Waite, cousin of Irish professional champion Tommy, are also included in the side.

Dubliners Bernard Dunne (CIE feather) and Aodh Carlyle (Sacred Heart lightweight) along with Sligo light heavy complete the squad.

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DOWN will be without Michaela Downey for Sunday’s National Football League Division Three quarter-final against Cork in Tullamore. Downey has exam commitments while Martina McCafferty is out through injury.

Maura McCabe has just returned from injury and is a doubtful started while Joanne Lavery has a hamstring problem.

Down boss Seamus Braniff says Cork are something of “an unknown quantity” but promotion to division two is the main aim.

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DONEGAL light heavyweight Brian Ferry heads the hunt for All-Ireland Junior Boxing Championship final places at the National Stadium in Dublin this weekend.

Ulster boxing has nine fighters in action at the quarter and semi-final stages which start tonight with a 14- bout bill and end tomorrow afternoon when a further 11 contests go to the judges. Dunfanaghy lad Ferry must tackle Coleman Barrett from the Olympic club in Galway.

Tonight’s National Stadium card includes an all-Ulster last eight confrontation at light welterweight where skilful former club-mates Thomas Hamill (All Saints Ballymena) and Karl Hogg (Larne) collide.

Awaiting the winner in the semis will be another Ulster hopeful Fergal Hargan (St Canice’s, Dungiven). Hargan’s county Derry clubmate Eamonn O’Kane goes in tonight against Dubliner Emmet Colgan (Crumlin).

Also in championship action tonight are light fly Thomas Long (Oak Leaf, Derry), flyweight Eddie McDonagh (Bishop Kelly) and Falls Road featherweight Kevin O’Hara (Immaculata).

Tomorrow afternoon five-time Irish champion Gerard McAuley, from the Star ABC Belfast, faces Geesala’s Henry Coyle.

 

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