GAA Football

Back in the day: in The Irish News on Feb 28 1997: Ballyskeagh seek more events after Dunmore closure announcement

BALLYSKEAGH will apply to the Irish Coursing Club about increasing the number of nights they are allowed to host following yesterday’s shock news that Belfast’s Dunmore stadium is to close.

The future of the famous old north Belfast track has been in doubt for some time but yesterday’s statement confirmed that greyhound racing at Dunmore stadium “will cease in the very near future”.

A spokesman from the Ballyskeagh outfit last night said their club, situated on the outskirts of Belfast, would definitely be seeking an increase in the number of nights they hosted.

“We have invested heavily in the stadium including the building of a new stand, and we intend to invest further,” he said.

“So it would be definitely be in our interests to increase the number of nights we host meetings each week. Now that Dunmore is closing, we’ll be trying to do just that.”

Ballyskeagh and the ICC are already involved in a legal confrontation over the number of nights Ballyskeagh are allowed to host race meetings.

A statement from Brendan Hayes, the chief executive of the United Greyhound Association Ltd and Belfast Sporting & Leisure Ltd, stated that the decrease in interest in greyhound racing and the substantial expenditure required to maintain

Dunmore meant that it was “no longer commercially viable” to provide meetings.

However it is understood that the owners of the ground, OD Cars, were reluctant to renew the lease to the tenants Sean Graham when it expires in two years.

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The Oak Leaf county have been hit by a ‘flu virus and the immediate aftermath has enforced several changes in their side for Sunday’s game against Meath in Navan.

Derry, aiming to reach the National League quarter-final stages for the third year running, welcome Jonathan Kelly back in goal in a straight swap for David Hasson for the Division One clash.

Kevin Bryson comes into defence for the unfortunate Kieran McKeever, who is confined to Lemsip and bed with a bad bout of the ‘flu.

In-form Johnny McBride, captain of UUC’s Sigerson Cup side, is also ruled out, with a leg injury. Coleraine officials will be hoping he recovers in time for next weekend’s Sigerson semi-final against University of Limerick.

His omission allows Emmet McKeever to come into defence.

At half-back there is a doubt over the fitness of Sean Martin Lockhart. While named in the starting 15, Lockhart is down with the ‘flu.

Lockhart is still confined to bed but is hopeful of being match-fit to face the All-Ireland champions.

Centre-half back Henry Downey has the ‘flu but is close to recovery.

Anthony Tohill, scorer of seven points against Donegal two week’s ago, takes the captain’s armband while Enda Muldoon sees his place taken by Dermot Heaney in the half-forward line.

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SOCCER exiles Frankie Wilson and Mickey Boyle will make their comeback for Antrim this Sunday after 18 months out in the cold.

The two did not play under John Morrison who resigned earlier this week, and they have been recalled by the selectors Raymond Graffin, Paul McCormack and Peter

McCann for the division three encounter against Galway.

Boyle, who has just left Cliftonville and signed a new contract with Crusaders, and Wilson who is at Omagh Town, have not played for the Saffrons since the Ulster

championship game with Cavan in 1995.

Also back training with the county panel are the St Paul’s players who were also out of favour with Morrison because of soccer commitments.

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