On This Day in The Irish News - November 29, 1998: Antrim come unstuck against star-studded Kerry at Casement
THE sense of occasion and the shape of 1997 League and All-Ireland Championship double winners Kerry unnerved their Antrim hosts at Casement Park yesterday as the Kingdom came away with a 1-14 to 0-8 victory.
While Aidan Thornbury and his management team fantasised about an upset, Kerry’s strong travelling support marvelled at the sight of Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams observing the affair from the stand.
This game, in pundit terms, was never going to produce anything other than a second National League win for Kerry.
For Antrim, it was another platform of understanding formed between the players, some old, some new, and the new management panel.
It was the opening minutes which exposed Antrim’s nerves and exchanges provided Kerry with a five point lead after eight minutes.
Antrim though boasted experience. Eleven of yesterday’s side had played against Donegal in the Ulster Championship over the past two years. Joe Kennedy, who quit the county scene three years ago, was back and the squad had given senior birth to former minors Kevin Brady, Dermot Niblock and Tony Convery.
Kerry, simply a better all round side, needed the goal which John Crowley accepted as the Antrim defence was severed by John McGlynn’s pass, and they didn’t look back from there.
“We were lucky the goal came at the right time, just as Antrim were coming back at us. We really did need to win this game,” said Kerry manager Paidi O’Se.
NICKY Butt picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season as he settled a fiercely-contested clash with rivals Leeds at Old Trafford as the Red Devils won 3-2.
Leeds’s depleted side were on course to claim a well-deserved point against their deadliest rivals until the England midfielder netted a 77th-minute winner to take Manchester United second in the Premiership.
Boss Alex Ferguson said: “He (Butt) was our best player. He could easily have had a hat-trick.
“Nigel Martyn made two great saves to deny him, but he got the winning goal due to his perseverance.
“It’s been a mixed season for Nicky. He’s been sent off twice, one of them unfairly at Arsenal, but he will be pleased with himself today because he has persevered throughout the whole match.”
DARREN Corbett must not retire from the sport. After Bruce Scott’s stunning 10th round stoppage of he Belfast man at the Ulster Hall on Saturday, Corbett spoke in a state of shock clouded with obvious anger.
If there’s foundation in what he claimed afterwards, that fight preparation was “the worst” he’d ever experienced, then a fully fit and newly focused Corbett must today begin thinking of his next step in boxing, in the ring.
Corbett has lost his Commonwealth cruiserweight title. He lost this chance of becoming British champion. He has lost a WBA number two world ranking. He has possibly lost a chance of fighting for a world title within the next year and this morning he’s probably feeling like a fallen hero.
But in the aftermath, he will recall the warmth which engulfed him in a distraught changing room. Boxing people knew that this was not the real Corbett.
Yesterday Corbett was “disappointed,” but “not distraught.” He will speak to manager Barry Hearn this week and expects the next route in his map to be lined out.
“I have total respect for Barry (Hearn) but if he cannot come up with what I now need, I’m asking for my contract back.”
Corbett let fly with words that shook the foundations of Hearn’s Matchroom stable. He revealed that his brother Eamonn had provided most of his sparring. Corbett’s anger exposed a shoddy build-up.
His first fight since May was programmed as he fought against a back injury sustained in car accident.
It seems Bruce Scott could not have stumbled upon the Belfast man at a better time.
“I don’t need to make excuses. People know that was not me in that ring. Ask Eamonn, ask anyone, the preparation was desperate,” said Corbett.