GAA Football

The Irish News on June 20 1997: Cavan take to pool ahead of Ulster semi-final with Donegal

Larry Reilly was called into the Cavan team to take on Donegal in the 1997 Ulster SFC semi-final.

An action-weary Cavan team were put through their paces last night - in the swimming pool.

Martin McHugh's men are reported to have been "taking it easy" following the gruelling demands of their two championship encounters and eventual win over Fermanagh.

There has been no respite for the Breffni men, who start Sunday's semi-final clash with Donegal with three changes from their first round replay. Terry Farrelly, Larry Reilly and Ronan Carolan have all earned starting places.

Meanwhile, Oliver Collins' leg injury has failed to respond to treatment and the Derry star will miss Sunday's Ulster SHC semi-final against Down at Casement Park. The loss of the Railway Cup star, who would have lined out at centre half-forward, is a big blow to the Oak Leaf county, who go into the game as underdogs.

Collins is replaced by dual star Geoffrey McGonigle who has recovered from a chest infection to take his place. Another dual star, Colin McEldowney, who featured in Derry's National Football League winning panel last season, also makes a return to senior hurling on the half-back line. Michael Collins is available again after serving a one-month suspension for a sending off in last month's National Hurling League defeat against Kildare. He takes his place at full-forward.

Championship debuts are handed to Lavey full-back Paul McCloy and Banagher forward Gary Biggs at corner-forward.

Cavan (SF): Paul O'Dowd; Kieran Brady, Terry Farrelly, Damien O'Reilly; Gerry Sheridan, Bernard Morris, Patrick Shiels; Stephen King (capt), Dermot McCabe; Fintan Cahill, Larry Reilly, Raymond Cunningham; Peter Reilly, Ronan Carolan, Mickey Graham. Subs: Brendan McCormick, Phillip Smith, Anthony Forde, Adrian Lambe, Jason Reilly, Paul Brady, Michael Reilly, Brian Donohue, Paul Murphy.

Derry (SH): J Donaghy; J Young, P McCloy, A Hickey; N Mullan, D Cassidy, C McEldowney; B Ward, R McCloskey; Gregory Biggs, G McGonigle, D Kelly; Gary Biggs, M Collins, J Dwyer. Subs: (from) K Stevenson, P McCloskey, D McGrillis, M McCracken, R O'Hagan, O Collins, D Lockhart, P Doherty, M Conway, P O Mainim, S Lagan, D Doherty, D Conway.

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Jeremy Davidson's meteoric rise to the game's elite was confirmed yesterday when the 22-year-old was named in the Lions side for tomorrow's First Test against South Africa.

The giant lock is one of three Irishmen in the team which faces the world champions in Cape Town. Hooker Keith Wood is joined in the front row by prop Paul Wallace.

The other Irishman on tour, No 8 Eric Miller, might well have made it a four-timer but the selectors felt he wouldn't recover from a bout of 'flu in time to play.

For Davidson, selection was greeted with jubilation. "I can't believe this has happened, that I'm about to play a Test match for the Lions," said the London Irish player, who displaced the pre-tour favourite, Bristol's Simon Shaw, to partner captain Martin Johnston.

"Obviously I hoped I had played well enough to get in, but with Simon and Martin regulars with England I thought it likely they'd be kept together.

"It's a dream come true, and when I think just five years ago I was playing schools rugby with Methody, and that last season I just broke into the Irish set-up, this really is like a fairytale.

Lions v South Africa, Cape Town: Jenkins; Evans, Gibbs (all Wales), Guscott (England), Tait; Townsend, (both Scotland), Dawson (England); Smith (Scotland), Wood, Wallace (both Ireland); Johnson (England, captain), Davidson (Ireland); Dallaglio, Rodber, Hill (all England).

Replacements: Bentley, Healey, Catt, Leonard (all England), Williams (Wales), Wainwright (Scotland).

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WHILE his Holy Trinity clubmate Damaen Kelly contemplates a new professional challenge, Irish middleweight champion Brian Magee has just one immediate aim on his mind.

Qualification for the European senior championships in Minsk, Belarus via a last eight place or better at next week's Liverpool multi-nations tournament is the goal of the young man from Altan Gardens in Belfast.

Recent qualifying tournaments, the Romania Golden Belt in Bucharest and the Acropolis Cup in Athens, have failed to yield an Irish European place and Magee is the man viewed most likely to break the Ireland duck.

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