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The Irish News Archive - June 26, 1998: Row erupts over McHugh's involvement; Beckham steers England through

England captain David Beckham celebrates at the end of the 2002 World Cup Group F soccer match between England and Argentina at the Sapporo Dome Japan Friday June 7 2002. Beckham scored the only goal in England's 1-0 win. The other teams in Group F are Sweden and Nigeria. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)

A ROW has erupted between the managers of Omagh Town and Derry City over Michael McHugh’s participation in the Tyrone side’s European tie against Slovakian opponents FC Tauris Sobota.

Derry City claim to have blocked the Letterkenny-based striker from playing for Omagh at St Julians’ Road, a claim strongly denied by Roy McCreadie.

Although the talented 27-year-old does not officially become a Derry player until July 2, City manager Felix Healy last night confirmed he would not be playing for his former club.

“Michael was never playing in this game,” said Healy.

“He has been out of contract with Omagh for around four or five weeks now, and he hasn’t signed a new one.

“He has already signed forms with us and we will request clearance for him next week.”

However Omagh boss McCreadie last night claimed McHugh was still in contract until the end of June, and was not playing because he is going on holiday.

“Whether Michael McHugh plays for Omagh Town or not is no concern of Felix Healy or Derry City,” said McCreadie. “Michael was registered to play for us in this game but unfortunately cannot because he is taking a short break with his family.

“Felix has no right to be talking about this matter at all.”

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GOALS by Barry Eccles and Ciaran McBride helped Omagh to a convincing win in last night’s Tyrone Senior Championship quarter-final at Dromore.

But it was only in the final quarter that they managed to shake off the gutsy challenge posed by newly-promoted Trillick.

Omagh went ahead through McBride and Niall McSorley before surrendering their lead to points by Paddy Corry, Malachy McElholm and Damien Gormley.

But Omagh hit back with a crucial score, Eccles finishing the ball to the net following a penetrating run by Seanie Meyler. Trillick finished the half strongly with points from brothers Niall and Paddy Corry to trail by 1-3 to 0-5 at the break.

And they drew level through Niall Corry midway through the second half before Omagh suddenly produced a dramatic match-winning burst.

Quick-fire points from McBride, McSorley, Eccles and Conal Sheridan put the St Enda’s back in control and with 10 minutes remaining McBride, now operating at full-forward, was alert enough to punch to the net after goalkeeper Ray Monteith fumbled a Kevin Cunningham effort.

McBride added a magnificent point and Trillick now trailed by eight points. They did pull a goal back with a Malachy McElholm penalty, but Omagh marched confidently through to a semi-final meeting with Donaghmore.

Omagh: P Logue, L Duddy, G McGirr, P Tierney, T McGinn, B McGinn, K Cunningham, C McBride (1-4), D McKenna, N McSorley (0-2), S Meyler, B Eccles (1-2), C McQuaid, K Burns, C Sheridan (0-1)

Trillick: R Monteith, A McCann, J McNabb, F Gallagher, J Garrity, K Kelly, T McNulty, G Corry, J Gormley, N McElholm, I Gallagher, N Corry (0- 2), P Corry (0-4), D Gormley (0-1), M McElholm (1-1). Referee: C Coyle (Moortown)

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ENGLAND comfortably qualified for the second stage of the World Cup after a 2- 0 victory over Colombia last night.

It was the night when Glenn Hoddle’s team – with popular choice Michael Owen alongside Alan Shearer – finally delivered on their potential.

A goal from Darren Anderton and a wonder strike from David Beckham, criticised by Hoddle for being “unfocused and a little vague” after the Romania defeat, leaves England facing a daunting task against Argentina in Saint-Etienne on Tuesday.

A delighted England manager Glenn Hoddle said: “There were some great performance from the boys. The lads were very very up for it out there.

“All credit to everyone involved. David Beckham responded to the challenge. I thought early on in the tournament he wasn’t there mentally but he is now.

“And Darren Anderton has proved a few people wrong. He had something to prove. “We could have won by four or five if we had taken out chances, but let’s not get carried away.”

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