Hurling and camogie

In The Irish News Feb 28 1998: Dunloy seeking All-Ireland semi-final replay win over Sarsfield's

Allister Elliott (right), pictured here against Emmett McKeever of Kevin Lynch's, was in fine form for Dunloy in their 1998 All-Ireland semi-final.

A MATTER of bare bones, the hard facts. As thrillers go, part one left no one any the wiser as to whether Dunloy or Sarsfields would finish as All-Ireland semi-final fall guys.

An epic first chapter to the Championship play-offs, both penultimate battles ended as they had started, all square. Clarecastle and Birr relaunch their campaigns today at Semple Stadium in Thurles, with the Glens gladiators and Galway’s tribesmen back to basics 24 hours later.

A sense of pins and needles, of expectation and anticipation, travels with parochial confidence that methodical preparation and dynamism will propel Dunloy into the March 17 endgame.

The sense travels to Thurles, as much of Dunloy’s support will, this afternoon also with the fans planning to take in the Semple sequel before moving onto Mullingar for their own episode two. Decision will be reached in both replays, come what may, as extra-time is part of the new deal at Cusack Park, and today.

It is this fact which Dunloy cling to. All the equal measure rave reviews earned 11 days by Cuchullains heroes and the caman stars of Na Sairsealaigh are chipwrap paper, old news, memorabilia for the All-Ireland archive.

A new game, as Dunloy’s spokesman Tony Shivers succinctly puts it “new hare, new hunt”, it is awash with possibilities, opportunity and clear and present dangers.

ooooooOOOOOoooooo

ROSS CARR will play his first competitive game for Down in nine months in tomorrow’s National League game against Limerick (Newry, 2pm).

The 33-year-old Clonduff man, who hasn’t played since the Ulster championship preliminary round replay defeat to Tyrone last May, was thought to have been contemplating retirement over the winter, but has decided to offer his services for another year.

For his first game in the current National League campaign, Carr has been selected to play at full-forward. Manager Pete McGrath has made several switches to his side as he attempts to reach the quarter-finals for the second year running via section D…but McGrath has resisted the temptation to recall Peter Withnell from his self-imposed soccer exile with Dundalk, and he remains on the bench.

Meanwhile, young Teemore forward Sean Quinn will make his first competitive start for the Fermanagh senior football team against Kilkenny tomorrow (Clara, 1pm). Quinn is a current U21 player and Pat King has made several switches in an attempt to inject some confidence into his sagging team who are without a win in section A.

Down: M McVeigh; F Caulfield, B Burns, M McMurray; S Poland, M Magill, Sean Ward; C Deegan, A Molloy; G Deegan, G Murdock, A Quinn; M Linden, R Carr, Shane Ward.

Subs: P Travers, M McEvoy, E O’Hagan, P Withnell, P Sloan, G Colgan, J McAlinden, C Murray, G McMahon, C McCabe, S Mulholland, L Howlett, B Loughran, G Murphy, P McGoldrick.

Fermanagh: C McAdam; T Callaghan, S Breen, P McGuinness; R Curran, B King, R Johnston; P Brewster (c), C Courtney; S King, Rory Gallagher, K Donnelly; Raymond Gallagher, S Quinn, S Maguire.

Subs: Ronan Gallagher, P Courtney, D Teague, D Campbell, D McNulty, M Gallagher, M Greene, C Curran, D McGrath.

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MANCHESTER UNITED’S quest to claim a Premiership and European Cup double faces a stern examination over the next few days.

Alex Ferguson’s side take on title rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today before flying to the south of France for Wednesday’s European Champions’ League quarter-final against Monaco.

United’s dream of an historic treble was ended by Barnsley this week, and Ferguson must rally his players for these critical few days.

Ferguson has some welcome team news for a change with Norwegians Henning Berg and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer available to face Chelsea. Berg returns from international duty, while Solskjaer has recovered from the virus which caused him to lose 10lbs in 24 hours.

Compatriot Ronny Johnsen could also be back from the calf injury which has sidelined him. But Nicky Butt remains doubtful with his calf problem, while Brian McClair hopes to shrug off a kick sustained at the top of his leg.

David May will be rested after playing only his second first-team match of the season at Oakwell. Ryan Giggs (hamstring), Paul Scholes (knee) and Jordi Cruyff (hairline shin fracture) are all out.

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Hurling and camogie

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