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Back in the Day - Linden leads final charge Down ace Carr sent off in fiercely fought clash - The Irish News, 1999

Mickey Linden was pulling all the strings as Mayobridge overcame Clonduff to reach the Down SFC final
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Down SFC semi-final: Mayobridge 2-9 Clonduff 1-9

FORMER Down Allstar Mickey Linden is still on course for a coveted senior championship medal after he helped Mayobridge defeat favourites Clonduff in the SFC semi-final in Pairc Esler, Newry, yesterday evening.

The energetic Linden set his side up for victory when midway through the first half he sent to the Clonduff net after a shot from Benny Coulter had come back off the crossbar.

In a fiercely contested game with heavy tackling throughout the exchanges boiled over 14 minutes into the second half when Clonduff's Ross Carr was sent off.

Indeed another Clonduff player escaped a similar fate just before half-time. Mayobridge deserved their victory.

Three points from Robbie Coulter and one each from Mickey Linden and Glen McMahon plus Linden's goal saw them ahead by 1-5 to 0-1 after 20 minutes.

The Clonduff point came from a Ross Carr free in the 16th minute. Clonduff improved in the 10 minutes before halftime with points from Damien Smith, John Fegan and Ross Carr.

A controversial penalty to Clonduff on the stroke of halftime saw Damien Fearon shoot to the net to leave Mayobridge leading 1-6 to 1-4 at half-time. Within nine minutes of the restart Clonduff had taken the lead with two pointed frees by Damien Smith and one from Shane Ward.

With 12 minutes gone Ross Carr was sent off and with it went Clonduff's hopes of appearing in the final.

The real killer blow came 10 minutes from time when a brilliant Mayobridge attacking movement in which all six forwards were involved, ended with Benny Coulter setting up Adrian Barry for their second goal which ensured victory.

Mayobridge: E McConville, B Grant, S McMahon, K O'Hare, R O'Hare, F Poland, N Sexton, E Woods, D Rooney, A Barry (1-0), M Linden (1-1), B Coulter (0-2), R Sexton, G McMahon (0-2), R Coulter (0-4) Subs: C Quinn for Mickey Linden, Mark Linden for R Sexton

Clonduff: J McAleavey, T Wilson, M McEvoy, P McConville, E O'Hagan, P Shields, P Matthews, J Morgan, R Carr (0-2), D Fearon (1-0), P McConville (0-1), P McShane, D Smith (0-3), S Ward (0-2), J Fegan (0-1) Subs: J Murnin for J Fegan, F Quinn for D Fearon, E Brannigan for D Smith Ref: D Moore (Banbridge).

Antrim SFC final replay: Cargin v St Paul's Donnelly likely to miss replay

ST Paul's and Cargin could both be forced into changes for this evening's Tennents Antrim senior football final replay at Casement Park.

Aidan Donnelly, who pulled a hamstring in the drawn encounter last weekend, is almost certainly unavailable for St Paul's, while Cargin await late fitness tests on corner-back Martin Logan (ankle) and midfielder Sheeny McQuillan (foot).

St Paul's manager Peter Finn was reluctant to comment yesterday on his lineup although Joe Quinn will obviously come into consideration after coming on in the closing stages of the drawn match.

Quinn's knee ligament injury is on the mend but the Shaw's Road club's management may elect to once again keep him in reserve.

South Derry man Neil Farren, formerly attached to the Drum club, could be a surprise inclusion after grabbing 1-5 for the St Paul's reserves in midweek. Farren, who has lined out for the Derry seniors, was a colleges Allstar during his years at St Pat's Maghera and he has played Sigerson Cup football with UUJ.

As ever the wily St Paul's manager indulged in a spot of mind games with the opposition yesterday by declaring that Cargin have been handed the “psychological advantage” for the re-match after finishing much the stronger last Sunday.

“I feel the mental approach and getting the players into the right frame of mind for this match after the disappointment of not closing out the game last weekend, is the key to this replay.”

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