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Back in the day - Terence McNaughton: I'd manage Antrim but things would have to change - The Irish News, Sep 17 1999

Antrim hurling star Terence McNaughton 
The Irish News Archive

FORMER Antrim star Terence McNaughton confirmed last night that he would be interested in managing the senior hurling side after Seamus Elliott’s recent departure.

However, his interest in the position was strictly conditional stating that it would have to be “under my terms and mine alone”.

“Of course I’m interested in managing the Antrim hurlers, but there would be too many restraints put on me – just like previous managers in the job. “

“I would need serious backing and commitment from all concerned before I would consider going for the job,” said the Cushendall player.

Clearly, the internal politics within the county would perhaps not be ready for McNaughton’s radical blueprint and he knows that more than anyone.

“The way things stand at the minute and the state of Antrim hurling, it would be the wrong decision for me to take the job and wrong of the county board to offer it to me...

“Things would have to change a lot, but as I say in an ideal world I would always be interested in managing the Antrim team,” added McNaughton.

Antrim hurling is again at one of its crossroads after another disappointing All-Ireland performance this year against Offaly.

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HENRY Downey remains on the absentee list for Lavey’s AIB Ulster Club Hurling semi-final against Cushendall in Maghera on Sunday (2.30).

The hand injury which ruled the dual star out of the Derry hurling decider 12 days ago hasn’t healed and Lavey trainer Tom McGill insisted yesterday the 1993 All-Ireland winning football captain would definitely not be involved in the game.

Henry’s brother Seamus is also troubled by a calf strain but he is expected to take his customary role at full-forward.

Lavey, managed by Bernie Henry this season, are reckoned by many observers to have a reasonable chance of surprising the recently-crowned Antrim champions.

However, McGill is cautious about his club’s chances - pointing out the team’s lack of hurling this year.

“The boys have only played six matches - three league games and three Derry Championship games.

“It will be a very tall order against a Cushendall team who have been playing regularly all summer and who beat Dunloy in the Antrim final.

“You also have to be realistic in that no Derry team have even beaten the Antrim representatives in the Ulster Club Championship.”

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FERGAL O’Brien lost his grip on the British Open title which he held for less than six months when Joe Swail comprehensively beat him 5-1 yesterday morning to set up a quarter-final clash with Scotland’s Alan McManus today.

But after the game O’Brien blasted organisers for scheduling the match less than 12 hours after he completed his fourth-round win over Andy Hicks on Wednesday night.

“It was a disgrace and I’ve registered my protest with the tournament officials,” said O’Brien.

But Swail hit back at O’Brien claiming that his complaints were merely “sour grapes”.

“Fergal’s remarks surprised me a lot. He has been a professional for eight or nine years and he should know what to expect,” said the Markets man.

The Belfast man was always in control against the defending champion and with the aid of breaks of 78 and 66 he went 3-0 up.

He lost the fourth on the black but after the interval won two more close frames to settle the match.

Swail was delighted at registering such an easy win after his first two matches against James Reynolds and Darren Clarke had gone the distance.

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