GAA Football

The Irish News Archive - Aug 29 1998: Mick O'Dwyer's Kildare may deny Kerry - but only just

Kerry legend Mick O'Dwyer was preparing his Kildare side for an All-Ireland semi-final against the Kingdom in August 1998
Padraig O Meiscill

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final Kildare v Kerry (holders)

Previewed by Eamonn O’Hara

THE prize-fighters. Gloves off, gum-shields in for any who feel the need.

Tactics sorted, final words of up’n at ‘em Championship speak ringing in their shell-likes.

Mick O’Dwyer has said all that has to be said so many times before, but never to fire the minds, hearts and spirits of the opposition.

Tomorrow is a very different All-Ireland occasion for him. It is a gleaming new occasion for Kildare’s footballers.

No such thing as IR£1m gates, live TV, jazzy advertising slogans and campaigns to whet the national appetite when Kildare last stood under the All-Ireland spotlight.

Kerry, holders of the Holy Grail, haven’t experienced a build-up quite like this, ever, not even during five in-a-row chasing days.

O’Dwyer, an institution in Kerry’s football history, has a new order he aims to bring to power in the Championship. Kerry are in the way.

The prize, a September 27 title decider against Galway. When the battle commences tomorrow Gaelic football’s fight to embellish its All-Ireland series with a game of genuine quality and thrill-aminute drama also begins afresh. The real deal.

A superb effort will be needed to quell Kerry’s double ambitions, spike the threat of Fitzgerald, Laide and company.

Atmosphere is sure to be wonderful as O’Dwyer’s white knights enter the arena.

Reckon their fans may have their wishes answered tomorrow.

A very special win, if it were to be achieved. Micko’s men deny Kerry, and all that.

Think they may, just.

oooooOOOOOoooooo

Smirnoff Irish League Premier Division Newry Town 2 Cliftonville 1

By Kenny Archer

CLIFTONVILLE sank at The Marshes last night, crashing to a third successive defeat as Newry grabbed an 88th minute winner from Stuart McLean.

The Premier Division champions deserved at least a draw and seemed to have earned their first point of the season when Michael Collins headed in with 15 minutes remaining to cancel out Trevor Smith’s first half opener.

The hosts gave debuts to goalkeeper Kevin McKeown, replacing the injured Paul Straney, and centre-half David Campbell, signed from Shelbourne, while former Notts County and Sheffield United striker Tony Agana made his bow for the Reds.

Agana earned a 16th minute caution for dissent, followed into the book the next minute by Mickey Donnelly, for a late tackle on Alan Byrne. Newry took full advantage in the 34th minute, the impressive John Kenny crossing low from the right for Smith to sweep a rightfoot shot past Reece for a terrific goal.

Newry replaced Evans and Gorman with Alan Hall and Andy Myler in quick succession but the second substitution proved of more benefit to the Reds.

Town’s concentration lapsed as the change was made and Gerry Flynn cleverly drilled in a quick free kick which McKeown could only push out, Collins reacting rapidly to head into the open net from almost on the goal-line.

Two minutes from the end of normal time a Newry corner was only half-cleared and Gary Peebles drove in a shot which pin-balled via Myler to McLean, who cracked the loose ball into the roof of Reece’s net.

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