GAA Football

Back in the Day: in The Irish News on March 8 1997: Coleraine face tough Sigerson semi against Limerick University's Kerry stars

John Fegan of St Mark's, Warrenpoint keeps his eye on the ball during the 1997 Ulster U16 Vocational final.

COLERAINE have named an unchanged team for this afternoon's Sigerson Cup semi-final against Limerick University (2pm). Despite the claims of Sean Gallagher for the goalkeeping slot and fit-again midfielder Eddie Breen, team manager Seamie Toman had little option but to stick to the same 15 which started in the quarter-finals against Jordanstown.

Davy O'Hare, who made a couple of crucial saves against the Poly, will start in goals while the burly Neil McGleenan will be partnered at centre-field by his fellow Armagh man John O'Kane.

Man for man, Limerick look a much stronger outfit than the north's remaining Sigerson hopefuls. But on paper, Coleraine scarcely deserved to be on the same pitch as Jordanstown yet were fully-deserving winners at the finish.

Centre-back Johnnie McBride will most likely shadow Dara O Cinneide or Michael Francis Russell but the Limerick line-up is teeming with other Kerry talent.

Wing-back Pat Gilmurray, particularly impressive against UUJ, will have to produce another tight-marking display while Newbridge full-back John McVey's leadership qualities will once again need to be much in evidence.

While Plunkett McConville is clearly Coleraine's best forward, the UUC attack has looked a more than useful unit and perhaps the tactic of a bit more direct ball into the likes of Brendan Powell and Niall McSorley should be used.


ULSTER fighters sent out the message fast and furious in last night's Irish Senior Boxing Championship at the National Stadium.

They were dominant over the first four contests to set the stage for one of the most successful raids ever by northern clubs on the big titles.

The four early heroes to undermine all contenders were light-fly James Rooney (Star), fly Liam Cunningham (Saints), bantam Damaen Kelly (Holy Trinity) and feather Pat O'Donnell (Dockers Club).


RANGERS were reeling last night from a triple whammy which has jeopardised their nine-in-a-row championship ambitions.

The league leaders, knocked-out of the Tennents Scottish Cup by Old Firm rivals Celtic on Thursday night, will be without three key players for several important games.

England midfielder Paul Gascoigne has been ruled out until after the premier division Old Firm showdown with Celtic tomorrow week, while Danish striker Erik Bo Andersen is out for three weeks at the very least after suffering a hairline fracture to his skull in last night's quarter-final defeat by Celtic at Parkhead.

And midfielder Ian Ferguson must serve a two match suspension after the second derby with Celtic which will further restrict manager Walter Smith's selection options.


ST MARK'S, WARRENPOINT, six times All-Ireland Vocational Schools U16 champions, took a mighty step towards another title when they came from behind in a pulsating finish to dethrone the current holders St Comhghall's, Lisnaskea by 4-10 to 4-8 at O'Neill Park Dungannon yesterday.

St Mark's: N Coulter; C McGovern, C Morgan, L Coulter; A Barry (0-1), E Campbell, B Grant; J Fegan (0-1), E Magee (0-2); J Quinn, M Cole, B Coulter (0-1); J McManus (0-2), C Fearon (1-0), PJ McAlinden (3-3). Sub: C Matthews for J Quinn.

St Comhghall's: G Rice; J McGovern, D Campbell, M O'Reilly; C Smyth, S O'Reilly, M Reilly; M Little (0-1), B McBrien (0-4); D O'Rourke, S Creighan, P Woods; J West (1- 2), K Collins, D Maguire (3-1). Sub: P Campbell for S Creighan.

Referee: M Hughes (Tyrone).


CELTIC are ready to offer former bank clerk Malky Mackay a new contract to ensure he does not walk out of Parkhead for free.

Mackay made a nonsense of 50-1 odds to score the first goal in Thursday night's Tennents Scottish Cup quarter-final victory over Rangers. Yesterday the 25-year-old defender, who spent two days on trial at West Brom earlier this season, saw his stock rise even further as his name was mentioned in despatches by Scotland boss Craig Brown.

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