Antrim GAA thrown into confusion after resignations

HANDS OFF... Limerick University’s Fergal O’Brien and Tralee RTC’s John Casey in a race for possession in the Sigerson Cup final at Coleraine yesterday
HANDS OFF... Limerick University’s Fergal O’Brien and Tralee RTC’s John Casey in a race for possession in the Sigerson Cup final at Coleraine yesterday

ANTRIM football was thrown into confusion last night with the reported resignation of the three selectors in charge of the senior team.

Peter McCann, Paul McCormack and Raymond Graffin have resigned from their posts, according to a source and the county is facing a player revolt after a tense meeting yesterday. Following the Dr McKenna Cup defeat by Armagh at Casement Park, players demanded a meeting with selectors and several county officials.

It was alleged that a former Antrim player, said to be St John’s man Andy McCallion, had been approached in connection with the job of county senior football manager.

McCann, Graffin and McCormack were appointed joint managers two weeks ago following the resignation of John Morrison.

Following Morrison’s resignation a county board official said that the remaining selectors would be in charge of the county’s Ulster Championship campaign.

But yesterday the management trio were said to have resigned in controversial circumstances with several players also indicating they would not play for the county.

COLERAINE players could only look on enviously as Tralee RTC defeated Limerick 1-13 to 1-6 to win the Sigerson Cup in convincing style.

Most of the Coleraine players, who lost out to Limerick in the semi-final, were pressed into stewarding duties at yesterday’s final.

GAA president Jack Boothman and GAC chairman Dan McCartan were among the dignatories present at the final in the north west.

The thousand or so spectators saw Tralee’s power and class prove too much for a spirited Limerick side.

Tralee captain Eamonn Ferris received the Sigerson Cup from Higher Education supremo Des Cullinane at the finish. Tralee midfielder Kirby was selected as the Irish News-sponsored player of the tournament.

CLIFTONVILLE Marty Quinn has called on Reds fans to come out and support Mickey Donnelly’s testamonial at Solitude tomorrow night (7.30) when the north Belfast club take on Dundalk.

“Mickey Donnelly has been a great servant of Cliftonville over the years and I am sure the fans will want to show their appreciation,” said Quinn.

Meanwhile, Reds chairman Jim Boyce paid tribute to both sets of supporters at Saturday’s Cliftonville v Glentoran encounter at Solitude.

But Boyce hit out at comments attributed to Glentoran assistant manager Billy Sinclair in a Sunday newspaper in which Sinclair is reported to have criticised the Solitude pitch.

“It’s the first time I have heard of anyone making any adverse comments about our pitch. Most people thought Cliftonville thoroughly deserved to win the game,” said Boyce.

SONIA O’Sullivan took silver in the 3000 metres World Indoor Athletics Championship in Paris on Saturday after being beaten for speed in the finishing straight by Romania’s Gabriela Szabo, the Olympic 1500m silver medallist.

The Cork athlete thus becomes the first Irish woman to win a medal at the world indoor championships.

O’Sullivan was out in front at the bell but just 40 metres from the finishing line Szabo took the lead and powered her way home to take gold.

The Romanian’s winning time was eight minutes 45.75 seconds, the fastest time in the world this year.