GAA Football

Back in the day: The Irish News July 20 1997: Cavan footballers end 28-year wait for Ulster title

Donegal man Martin McHugh was the toast of Cavan

“THE Anglo-Celt Cup is going home,” declared triumphant Cavan captain Stephen King, just minutes after surely the most emotional footballing day Clones has ever witnessed.

The delirium which out-poured in the quarter hour that followed Cavan’s Ulster final triumph over Derry ( yesterday made Tyrone’s joy at their provincial semifinal defeat of Derry two years ago seem almost muted.

A 28-year old-itch had been scratched and a sea of blue jerseys swarmed out onto the Clones turf to emphatically tell the world that Cavan were back.

Stephen King, in his acceptance speech, spoke of the “wee Donegal man” who had awakened a sleeping giant. That Donegal man, Martin McHugh, was much in demand at the final whistle.

McHugh said that the injection of youth had reawakened Cavan from their slumber.

“The young fellows have made all the difference to the team. The older players had so many disappointments down through the years but these young fellows are winners.”

None more so than goalscoring hero Jason Reilly, who came on for the experienced Fintan Cahill with 18 minutes of normal time left.

Seven minutes later McHugh was forced to haul off Stephen King after the captain’s suspect hamstring finally gave in.

The decision to withdraw Cahill seemed a gamble at the time but Reilly who, as McHugh always told him, kept his shot “on the carpet” repaid his manager’s faith.

“Taking two experienced men off like that was a big decision. Thankfully the young guys who came on did their job and more. The changes worked today. They don’t always work,” said McHugh.

Cavan take on Munster champions Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park.

Cavan: Goals: Jason Reilly (1) Points: Ronan Carolan (6), Peter Reilly (3), Larry Reilly (2), Dermot McCabe (1), Raymond Cunningham (1), Fintan Cahill (1) Bookings: Damien O’Reilly

Sendings Off: None

Team: P O’Dowd, P Kermath, C Brady, T Farrelly, G Sheridan, B Morris, P Shields, S King, D McCabe, P Reilly, R Carolan, R Cunningham, L Reilly, F Cahill, D O’Reilly Subs: J Reilly for Cahill, P Smith for King, M Graham for L Reilly

Derry: Goals: None

Points: Anthony Tohill (4), Joe Brolly (3), Gary McGill (2), Gary Coleman (2), Kieran McKeever (1), Johnny McBride (1), Fergal McCusker (1), Joe Cassidy (1), Dermot Dougan (1)

Bookings: Johnny McBride and Henry Downey

Sendings Off: None

Team: D McCusker, K McKeever, D O’Neill, G Coleman, S Lockhart, H Downey, J McBride, A Tohill, D Heaney, G McGill, D Dougan, F McCusker, J Brolly, S Downey, J Cassidy. Subs: K Diamond for Dougan, G Doyle for McGill


WHAT started out with a flourish ended up with bitter disappointment for Antrim in yesterday’s Ulster minor football final at Clones, as Tyrone won 3-13 to 2-10.

The young Saffrons got off to a glorious start by scything their way through the Tyrone defence twice in the opening 90 seconds to hit goals. It seemed certain that Antrim football’s 15-year wait for an Ulster title in any grade was about to end.

But it was not to be, with the Antrim defence crumbling on so many occasions in the final three quarters of the match.

In contrast Tyrone, after their nervous start, reasserted themselves after looking decidedly uneasy early on.

Mark Harte, the son of joint manager Mickey Harte, was the hero of this Red Hand success, hitting 1-6

Tyrone: A O’Connor, K O’Brien, C Gourley, B Donnelly, A Ball, C McAnallen, D McCrossan, K Hughes (0-1), C Martin, J Campbell (0-4), B O’Neill (1-0), S O’Neill, M Harte (1-6), R Thornton, B McGuigan (0-2) Subs: Darren O’Hanlon (1-0) for Hughes (42 mins), Cormac McGinley for McCrossan (57 mins)

Antrim: J Finucane, C Anderson (0-2), A Brennan, C Copeland, T Convery, T Maguire, F Higgins, P Logan (0-1), D Niblock (1-1), C Thornbury (0-1), A Dunlop, G Ward, L McGonigle, G Flynn (1-0), P Close (0-3) Subs: Paul McKeever for Higgins (38 mins) and Ruairi O’Loan (0-2) for Ward 44 mins), B Grieve for Thornbury (57 mins)

Ref: G Lynch (Fermanagh)


DARREN CLARKE’S bid for Open glory at Troon failed yesterday as American Justin Leonard lifted his first major title. Clarke’s birdie on the last hole gave him a share of second place with Swede Jesper Parnevik and he had the consolation of pocketing a cheque for £150,000.

The Dungannon man had started the day with a real chance of victory, lying just two shots behind overnight leader Parnevik and three clear of Leonard.

A birdie at the 364-yard first hole was just the start required and put Clarke within one shot of Parnevik.

However, it all started to go wrong on the second hole, when Clarke put his drive out of bounds and had to play a superb fairway bunker shot to escape with a double bogey six.

It was a setback from which he never recovered and he had to settle for the share of second place which his level par round of 71 (for a nine under par total of 275) gave him as Leonard grabbed the limelight.

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