GAA Football

In The Irish News - Jan 12 1998: Strike by Down senior footballers is over

County secretary Brian McAvoy explained the mix-up and the misunderstandings which led to strike action by the Down panel

THE strike by the Down senior footballers has ended as quickly as it began.

That was the good news given to the 120 delegates by county chairman Kevin Bell who was returned unopposed at the county convention in the Donard Hotel, Newcastle, yesterday.

County secretary Brian McAvoy explained the mix-up and the misunderstandings which had arisen regarding the non-availability of Ballyholland for training on Friday night which prompted the statement from manager Peter McGrath that the players and management were withdrawing their services.

The net result is that training will resume in Ballykinlar tonight and continue on Wednesday and Friday nights.

Addressing the delegates chairman Kevin Bell said that the success and interest in Gaelic games has created a changing situation and presents a real challenge.

He said: “We must fight to retain our young players by ongoing promotional work in our schools and clubs and also by good administration, good refereeing and meaningful competitions”.

The chairman revealed that in Down alone there are over 10,000 men and boys involved in playing Gaelic games.

But he warned that while everything would seem very rosy this is not the case.

He said that there are still areas in the county where a lot of work needs to be done, especially in urban areas, and he would like assistance from the divisional boards in this matter.

Officers elected: chairman Kevin Bell, vice-chairman Eamon O’Toole, secretary Brian McAvoy, assistant secretary Donal McCormack, treasurer Hugh John Harper, registrar Hugh Cahill, PRO Fintan Mussen, language officer Aidan Rodgers, youth officer Michael Keenan, central council delegate Dan McCartan, Ulster council delegates (2) Fintan Mussen and Gerry Mullan, delegates to Ulster convention Brian McAvoy, Kevin Bell, Dan McCartan, Donal McCormack, Hugh John Harper and Matt Fitzpatrick, delegates to congress Jimmy Cousins, Kevin Bell, Brian McAvoy, Hugh John Harper, Matt Fitzpatrick and Donal McCormack, under 21 delegate to congress Thomas Keenan.


ST GALL’S pulled off a sensational victory in this belated Antrim Intermediate Hurling Championship final at Casement Park when midfielder Pat McShane shot the winner a minute from time to secure a 2-9 to 2-8 result over Shane O’Neill’s.

In all sorts of trouble, having allowed a five-point lead to slip and under the cosh for most of the half, St Gall’s looked in serious trouble when the North Antrim side were awarded a 53rd minute penalty.

On his way through, full-forward Sean O’Neill was unceremoniously dumped and half-back Sean Waide professionally put the sliothar beyond the reach of Seamus Elliman.

Ahead now by a point, 2-8 to 2-7, the Glenarm side looked set to break a lengthy St Gall’s stranglehold.

But in a blistering finish Johnny Flynn pointed an invaluable free in the 55th minute which levelled matters, before McShane hit the winner.

But if there was a turning point it came in the 36th minute when Johnny Flynn goaled from a long range free to put the Belfast side five points ahead.

St Galls: S Elliman, R McKenna, C Parke, D McKeown, D Sheehan, S McGourty, S O’Connor, P McShane (0-1), J Flynn (1-3), H M McDaniel, S Duigney, P O’Toole (0-2), M Kerr (1-3), M Culbert, C Hartigan.

Shane O’Neill’s: H Magill, K Davey, F Magill, B Ward, S Waide (1-2), L Magill, B O’Neill, K McKay (0-1), J Rosborough, J Pettigrew (0-1), S O’Kane (0-1), D McAuley (1-0), O Mulvenna (0- 1), S O’Neill, P O’Neill (0-2).

Referee: J McQuillan (Dunloy)


STAY-AWAY Ulster boxing stars have obviously weakened the province’s prospects of figuring strongly in the medal haul in the National senior boxing championships.

The fact was underlined after the quarter-finals were decided on Saturday.

At this stage only defending feather champion Pat O’Donnell of Dockers emerged unscathed. Bankers such as Liam Cunningham of Saints, Sean McAnee of Ring, Derry, Brian Magee of Holy Trinity, and the Mark Heagney duo Tommy Donnelly and Jim McKee are yet to box but devastating results in Friday’s opening bill proved an Ulster downer for a start.

Some Ulster boxers have been accused of playing it safe by not competing, the inference being that by so doing they would not be putting their Commonwealth Games’ prospects at risk.

Quarter-finals: Feather: P O’Donnell (Dockers) bt M Hazlett (St Brigid’s) 30-4; M Hobbs (Arklow) bt M Prunty (Portmarnock) SR3; D McKenna (Holy Family Drogheda) bt J Phillips (St Michael’s Athy) 14-11; T Carlyle (Sacred Heart) bt W Valentine (St Saviours). Welter: N Gough (St Paul’s) bt S Barrett (Rylane) 18-5; J Morrissey (Sunnyside) bt P Walsh (St Colman’s) 56-54 on count back; R Murray (St Matthew’s) bt J Moore (Arklow) 71-56 on count back; F Barrett (Olympic) bt P Colgan (Avona) 24-11. Middle: T Sheehan (St Michael’s Athy) bt R Fox (Phibsboro) 8-2, K Walsh (St Colman’s) bt I Timms (Quarryvale) SR5. Heavy: E Falvey (St Colman’s) bt D Greene (South Meath) 16- 5; B McGarrigle (Omagh) bt S Dawson (Crumlin) KO R2. Super Heavy: J Kinsella (Crumlin) bt J White (St Paul’s Newry) Retired R3.


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