Back in the day - Olly Collins outstanding as Derry guarantee hurling promotion play-off - The Irish News, May 17 1999

National Hurling League Division 2: Derry 2-14 Roscommon 1-8

BEFORE a crowd of around 200 at Celtic Park, Derry moved a step closer to promotion to division one for the first time with this deserved win over a battling Roscommon.

Derry now meet Wicklow in the division two play-off to decide which side advances to the promotion play-off.

For long periods in the first half the long striking Colm Kelly had the edge at midfield but Roscommon failed to make good use of possession as they shot 10 wides.

Derry moved Ollie Collins to midfield for the second half and switched Geoffrey McGonigle to centre half-forward.

Those switches strengthened the midfield sector and, after an early score from the Connacht side, Derry dominated the second half. Defensively the Oak Leafers were very sound, their covering, blocking and general hurling of a high order.

Full-back McCloskey kept a close watch on Kelly, while Cassidy, Mullan and McKeever excelled throughout.

Ollie Collins had an outstanding game, while the pace of Mickey Collins and the guile of McGonigle proved too much for a Roscommon defence that depended greatly on Finneran and Healy.

Derry: C Stevenson, E McKeever, D McCloskey, D Kearney, B Ward, D Cassidy, N Mullan (0-1), C Murray, P McEldowney, O Collins (0-4), one free), G Biggs (0-1), D Kelly, M Collins (1-1), G McGonigle (0-6, 3 frees), D Doherty (0-1), U McCloskey (for Kelly), M Conway (for Biggs).

Roscommon: A Tully, N Cunniffe, T Healy, P Mannion, M Nulty, M Healy, P Finneran, M Cunniffe, C Kelly (0-1), R Mulroy (0-2), B Boyle (0-1, one free), L Murray (0-1), S Sweeney (0-1), A Kelly (1-0), J Mannion, T Regan (0-1 for Mannion), D Johans (0-1 for Sweeney).

Referee: Tommy McIntyre (Antrim).

NHL Div 1 relegation play-off: Kerry 2-13 Down 0-12

Mournemen in relegation frame after loss to Kerry

A VERY strong final quarter by Kerry ensured them of Division One status for next year when they overcame a defiant Down side in this relegation play-off at O'Moore Park, Portlaoise yesterday.

In a very entertaining game before less than a dozen spectators, Down started brightly and had it not been for two fantastic saves by John Healy in the Kerry goals from Mick Braniff and Paddy Coulter, the Mournemen could well have won the game.

Those saves came at a vital stage when the Kingdom were really struggling to stay in contention.

The Down defence played soundly throughout with Simon Wilson and Stephen McAree being particularly prominent while Graham Clarke in goals, although beaten twice, pulled off a string of brilliant saves.

Down were always struggling in the middle of the field where Kerry's Brendan O'Sullivan was particularly prominent.

It was the moving of Tony Maunsell from right half-back to the right corner of the attack in the second half that paid handsome dividends. His goal midway through the second half restored Kerry's lead and set them up for a strong finish.

Although Jerome McCrickard and Michael Braniff registered points, Kerry finished the game with four unanswered scores for a deserved victory.

Kerry: J Healy, T Cronin, S McIntyre, M Carroll, T Maunsell (1-2), M McCarthy, D Slattery, Pat Cronin (0-1), B O'Sullivan (0-3), I Brick, C Walsh (0-1), M Slattery (0-3), TP O'Connor (1-0), JJ Canty (0-3), Padraig Cronin.

Down: G Clarke, J Brown, S McAree, S Wilson, T Coulter, G Savage, S Murray, J McCarthy, J McCrickard (0-3), Paddy Coulter, M Braniff (0-1), P McCabe (0-1), G Gordon (0- 2), E Treanor (0-4), Paul Coulter (0-1)

Subs: B Smith for Paddy Coulter, P Monan for P McCabe.

Ref: T Dunphy (Kilkenny)

YORKSHIRE'S David Jeffries, who had never won a North West race before, notched up an amazing hat-trick of wins in Saturday's NorthWest 200 in front of 80,000 sun baked race fans.

Jeffries, riding for the V&M Yamaha race team, literally blew the opposition away in both the Superbike races and in the Supersport 600 races.

Jeffries first win of the day came in the Mobil One Superbike race in which the ex-DJ led from start to finish.

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