Back in the day - Feb 8 1998: Gerard Cavlan's late-late scores secure Railway Cup victory for Ulster
Railway Cup football final: Ulster 0-20 Leinster (holders) 0-17 (after extra time)
GERARD CAVLAN put the X factor into yet another astonishing extratime special from Ulster’s marathon match masters. The 22-year-old finished off the hat-trick hopes of Leinster with 85th- and 90th-minute insurance bullseyes.
A magnificent inter-pro final, hugely entertaining and enthralling, Ulster’s management double act of Brian McEniff and Art McRory watched their star-studded side produce a brilliant fightback.
And amazingly for the third game in-a-row in this year’s series, they stormed through to kill off the champions with yet another awesome display of spirit and sparkle in overtime.
The final seconds had a bizarre twist.
Ulster’s final sub, Cavan defender Bernard Morris, featured for all of 25 seconds.
The spin was that while Morris went on, no one came off and they finished with 16 players.
A slight oversight, it’s not expected to prompt an appeal.
Without a bad foul of note, yesterday’s decider undoubtedly delivered quality in impressive quantity and prompted outstanding team captain Peter Canavan to ask during his victory speech: “Who says the Railway Cup doesn’t matter?”
Canavan, who broke his scoring duck for the long haul series with three exceptional points, and turned in a tremendous effort of defensive interceptions late on, accepted the plaudits and rousing ovation from almost 5,000 fans, and the trophy, from GAA president Joe McDonagh.
Tyrone’s attacking star praised the performance of the players, saying: “I’d like to thank my Ulster team-mates who for the past three Sundays have gone out and done the province proud, and the two men the boys think the world of, Art McRory and Brian McEniff.
“It was a great battle – we really enjoyed it”.
Cavlan thought the showpiece, which lived up to the name in every sense, “was one of the best Railway Cups in years,” saying that “that must go down to the Leinster boys who gave us a great game”.
Ulster: F McConnell, J J Doherty, C Lawn, P Devlin, K McGeeney, H Downey, N Hegarty, J Burns, A Tohill, J McGuinness, G Cavlan (0-4), P McGrane (0-2), D McCabe (0-4), T Boyle (0-4), P Canavan (capt)(0-3).
Subs: G Coleman (0-1) for Lawn (inj)(11 mins); P Brewster for Burns (41 mins); M Linden for McGuinness (50 mins).
Extra time subs: J McGuinness for McGrane (80 mins), D Marsden for Boyle (84 mins), B Morris (90 mins).
Leinster: C Byrne, C Daly, D Fay, M O’Reilly, D Lalor (0-2), G O’Neill, F Cullen (capt), J McDermott, N Buckley, C Whelan (0-2), B Stynes, T Giles (0-4), T Dowd (0-2), D Darcy (0- 4), K O’Brien (0-3).
Subs: S Grennan for Stynes (47 mins), G Geraghty for Whelan (52 mins). Extra time subs: K Reilly for Buckley (68 mins), V Claffey for Grennan (75 mins), J Kenny for O’Reilly (75 mins).
Referee: Niall Barrett (Cork) Attendance: 4,702
MICHAEL CONWAY, an U21 Derry championship medal-winning hurler, must wait for another season at least before achieving his other ambition of playing in top flight hockey with Antrim.
The second division side were held to a 1-1 draw by promotion favourites Bangor on Saturday and, barring a disastrous lapse in form, the seasiders should claim the one available promotion place.
Antrim’s hopes of pipping them to the post evaporated at the weekend but they will look back upon some poor results in the early part of the new year after going into Christmas with a fighting chance of going up. In the first division of the Harp Senior League,
Instonians were made to look even warmer favourites to take the honours after notching up their 13th consecutive win although they had to come from behind before beating Annadale 2-1.
VICKI JAMISON ran the fastest flat 400m of her life yesterday to claim her first British senior title at the AAA’s Indoor Championships in Birmingham. The Lagan Valley athlete clocked 53.04 which was over half a second inside her previous fastest outdoor 400m.
As indoor times for 400m usually translate to around a second slower to what the athlete is capable of outdoors, yesterday’s performance augurs very well for the remainder of the season. Jamison’s main target in 1998 is the Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles – the event where she picked up a silver medal during the 1996 World Junior Championships. Yesterday’s win will have given her much confidence after a disappointing second half of 1997.
The Northern Ireland woman was 1.44 seconds ahead of the silver medal winning athlete. It was also a medal weekend in Birmingham for Ballymena & Antrim’s Pauline Thom (nee Quinn) who won a bronze in the women’s 1500m.
It was Quinn’s second successive bronze medal performance in the championships. Others Irish medals included silvers for James Nolan (800), Antoine Burke (high-jump) and Pierce O’Callaghan (3,000m Walk).
Further afield, North Belfast were far from disgraced in the European Men’s Inter-Clubs CrossCountry event in the Algarve. John Ferrin, in 33rd place, was the first North man home and helped the Belfast club finish 17th in the team stats.
Those in arrears of the Northern Ireland team included Scottish club Cambuslang. Dundrum South Dublin, led by Peter Matthews who finished 12th and Noel Berkeley in 18th, were an excellent eighth overall.
Meanwhile, Annadale’s Campbell brothers recorded a one-two in the main event at the Crawford Cup cross-country meeting at Comber. Commonwealth Games hopeful Jim had 61 seconds to spare from Andrew in the six mile men’s race.
The winner came home in 30.50. Albertville’s Sally Patrick won the ladies three mile race.