In The Irish News on June 2, 1997: All-Ireland favourites Derry lucky to avoid defeat to Monaghan in Clones
A PENALTY against the woodwork after two minutes, two shock first half goals, Brian McCormack and Joe Coyle sent off, nine bookings, 76 frees and a seven-point lead blown by enigmatic Monaghan, let over-rated All-Ireland favourites Derry off the Championship hook yesterday as they snatched a 1-11 to 2-8 draw in Clones.
Derry should be licking their wounds this morning after their reputation was left scarred by a dreadful quarter-final performance, and really any talk of the 1993 Sam Maguire Cup winners resembling potential All-Ireland champions is at best well wide of the mark.
There is no doubt Monaghan will be kicking themselves.
This was a game they should have won, and they know it. How they failed to make more of goals by Peter Duffy and Noel Marron after 19 and 22 minutes strikes, which gave them a stunning seven-point cushion, is amazing.
Too slack, too many unforced errors, the inability of their half-forward line to work as a defensive unit and close down space, contributed to throwing away a glorious chance for an upset.
A rash of debatable refereeing decisions, untidy tackles and an abundance of mistakes combined to hand Derry a reprieve.
Monaghan must now travel to Celtic Park on Sunday for a replay to meet either double Ulster champions Tyrone or Armagh in the provincial semi-final on June 29.
On the evidence of this game, neither Tyrone or Armagh have anything to fear. The room for improvement for both is vast.
RANGERS chairman David Murray yesterday told Barcelona: Our mega-bucks bid for Ronaldo still stands.
Murray confirmed that Rangers have made one of the most sensational bids in football transfer history for the Brazilian striker. A figure of anything from £30million to £48m had been mentioned, made up of a transfer fee and staggering wages.
But Murray said: “The deal offered was a £20m fee to Barcelona and wages of £2.5m a year over four years. There would have been a clause in the contract saying he could leave after two years and would receive 25% of any profit we made.
“We made our bid a month ago and were only told a week ago that he would not be coming.
“This was no publicity stunt. In fact, we wanted to keep it confidential but it shows Rangers can compete with the biggest clubs in the world.”
ANTRIM, needing to hammer Waterford in order to overtake them on scoring averages and claim the third promotion spot from Division Two of the National League, never threatened to achieve that target at Walsh Park yesterday.
But after falling eight points behind five minutes into the game and seeming set for a thrashing, they recovered well to lose only narrowly, albeit against a home side whose game became increasingly ragged in the second half.
Waterford: B Landers, S Cullinane, J O’Connor, M O’Sullivan, S Frampton (1-0), F Hartley, B Greene, T Browne (0-2), K McGrath (1-0), B Walsh (0-1), L O’Connor, D Bennett (0-2), B O’Sullivan (1-1), P Flynn (1-5), M White (0-1). Subs: M O’Mahony for L O’Connor, P Power for McGrath
Antrim: S Elliot, Ciaran McCambridge, S Bailie, S McIlhatton, S P McKillop, T McNaughton, P Jennings, J Connolly, P McKillen (0-1), Conor McCambridge (0-3), Gary O’Kane, J Carson (2-1), A Delargy (1-0), Gregory O’Kane (1-4), A Elliot (0-1). Subs: R McNaughton for McIlhatton, R Donnelly for Connolly, N Gillen for T McNaughton