Back in the day - Down defeat is final straw as Danny Ball ends three-year stint with Tyrone - The Irish News, August 24 1999
DANNY Ball last night quit as Tyrone senior football manager after three unsuccessful seasons in charge. Last night he informed the county board that he does not wish to be considered for re-appointment.
Tyrone sensationally crashed out of this year’s Ulster Championship to Down which prompted speculation the Clann na nGael man would step down.
Ball had completed his three-year term and the county board had already set in motion a consultation process with the clubs on the management issue.
Tyrone’s veteran goalkeeper Finbar McConnell, who played under Ball, reacted to the news: “It’s the first I’ve heard of it. There was speculation in the press that Danny would step down though...It’s very sad news indeed.”
McConnell, who has played under five managers during his time with the senior footballers, paid tribute to Ball.
“He wanted for nothing, his knowledge of the game, his commitment to Tyrone was second to none. In many ways the Tyrone job is the most difficult in Ulster with the high level of expectation.”
Fay Devlin, another Tyrone veteran, was “very surprised” on hearing the news.
He said: “The general feeling, I thought, was that he was going to stay on. I hadn’t spoken to Danny since the Down defeat and at that time he didn’t give the players any indication of what his intentions were.”
Ball, who couldn’t be contacted last night, was encouraged by player pleas for him to stay on in the aftermath of the Down defeat.
THE British waved their Irish tricolours with pride. Brendan Reilly has made a huge impression on everyone who has had dealings with the Irish team this week at the World Athletics C’ships.
He also had a fan-club who apparently will do anything to cheer on their buddy.
“Dad told me that a couple of the Irish flags being waved behind me actually by British guys who I know, who somehow had got their hands on the tricolours.
“These are fellows who cheered me on when I was competing for Britain and now that I’m representing Ireland, they are staying loyal.” Reilly’s joint eighth place finish in last night’s high-jump final was his best performance in five major finals.
His previous best was 13th in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. His top mark of 2.29, cleared brilliantly at the third attempt, was his best jump since he scaled 2.31 in 1992.
BELFAST welterweight Gerard McAuley has been selected to represent Ireland at the European Junior Championships in Croatia next month.
The exciting young Star club prospect was one of six Irish teenagers chosen by the IABA Central Council meeting in Dublin at the weekend.
The Irish side, coach/managed by Dubliner Tony Davitt, travel to Rijeka on September 20 for the week-long competition.
McAuley, who scored an impressive international win in Friday night’s Young Ireland v Young England clash at the National Stadium, is coached by Micky Corr and co at the Upper Meadow Street gym in north Belfast.
Also selected for Ireland’s European Junior title hunt are fly Kevin Butler, bantam Gavin Brown, feather Francis Maughan, lightweight Fergus Turner and light welter Ciaran Smithers.