GAA Football

Back in the day - Celtic boss John Barnes accepts Vidar Riseth apology over red card - The Irish News, Aug 23, 1999

Neil Loughran

CELTIC head coach John Barnes has accepted Vidar Riseth’s apologies after the Norwegian’s late red card almost denied the visitors victory at Dundee.

Leading through Stephane Mahe’s 69th-minute opener, Celtic looked set fair for a narrow win despite a sluggish display badly missing any real urgency.

However, with just five minutes remaining, a late Riseth challenge on Eddie Annand earned him an instant ordering-off and suddenly the match was transformed. Within a minute, Lee Sharp had headed past Jonathan Gould to level and it needed a last-minute Henrik Larsson volley to secure a dramatic Celtic reprieve.

Barnes admitted Riseth’s ill-timed lunge almost changed the outcome of the contest, but was quick to stress the first player sent off under his charge is unlikely to be fined.

He said: “I was disappointed with the tackle from Vidar, but not with his performance – the sending-off was a rush of blood and he accepts that.

“It was a stupid thing to do. We will have a word with him about the challenge, but I don’t think there will be any disciplinary action as he accepts he made a mistake.”

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BALLYMACNAB landed their first-ever county championship when they defeated  Belleek 2-5 to 0-7 in the Armagh junior final.

The Nab were forced to start without captain and star performer Gary Donnelly, who was carrying an injury from the semi-final, and even when introduced early in the second half he had to retire minutes later.

Ballymacnab, managed by Colm Marley and Paul Grimley, trailed by three at the break but two goals from Vinny Loughran - one of which was a penalty - saw them edge across the line – with Donnelly becoming the first captain of the club to lift an all county championship trophy.

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CLIFTONVILLE couldn’t get the better of 10-man Portadown in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Shamrock Park –but they are still on top of the Smirnoff Irish Premiership.

Portadown ‘keeper Tim Dalton was sent off for handball after just six minutes and was replaced by Philip Major. Cliftonville took the lead through Brian Donaghy, but two from Vinny Arkins put the Ports in control before Chris Scannell rescued a point for the Reds.

Cliftonville manager Marty Quinn had mixed feelings about the draw in the first meeting of the two sides since the non-playing of the Bass Irish Cup final.

“Before we set off, we would have been happy enough with a draw,” he admitted.

“With the dismissal of Tim Dalton we thought we could get more than a point out of the game but Portadown did very well and made life awkward for us.

“Philip Major pulled off some superb saves and we also conceded two silly goals.”

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BRENDAN Reilly’s qualification for t high-jump final at the World Athletics Championships brought much needed cheer to the Irish camp on Saturday evening after news came through of James McIlroy’s decision to opt for Britain.

Reilly struggled to compose himself after his qualifying height of 2.26m saw him through to the final. His mother Flora, a Laois woman, is now confined to a wheelchair and it was her desire to see Brendan compete for Ireland in a major championships that convinced him to switch from Britain earlier this year.

On paper, the 26-year-old has little chance of being in among the medals this evening but with the pressure of qualification over, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he could go over 2.30.

With Javier Sotomayer not here and Britain’s Steve Smith not expected to take his place in the final after damaging his Achilles in the qualifying round, a leap of 2.32 might be good enough to finish on the podium.

Reilly has cleared 2.28 this season which was a remarkable feat considering that he has been fighting off knee and back injuries which continue to trouble him here in Seville.

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