Irish News Past Papers - Nov 8 1998: Bellaghy and Crossmaglen advance in Ulster Club clashes

CROSS PURPOSE...Frank Shields (left) turns defence into attack for Crossmaglen during the Ulster Club Championship semi-final clash with St John's at Clones
The Irish News Archive

AIB Ulster Club semi-final Enniskillen Gaels 0-9 Bellaghy 0-12

A CRUCIAL refereeing decision in Bellaghy’s favour four minutes from time helped the Derry champions ease into their second Ulster club final in three years at Omagh yesterday.

With the score 0-9 to 0-8 to Bellaghy, Enniskillen forward Colm Bradley was blown for overcarrying by the referee, a decision which even Bellaghy manager Seamus Birt described later as “harsh”.

From the resulting free out Bellaghy went straight up the field and scored, giving them the platform to go on and record a three-point victory.

Bellaghy probably deserved to win, but Enniskillen certainly made them fight for it.

Written off beforehand, the Gaels deserved huge credit for the way they battled hard in the second half, coming back from 0-8 to 0-4 down to treat a healthy-sized crowd to a highly enjoyable final quarter.

Half-back Paul Diamond was taken off towards the end of the first half with a knee injury while goalkeeper Kevin O’Neill withdrew before the match after a nasty blood clot gathered in his leg after training on Friday evening.

Both are rated doubtful by Birt for the final on November 22.

Enniskillen: B Dooris, C Murphy, M Farry, K Duffy, S Connolly, R Curran, R McCluskey, T Brewster (0-4, three frees), P Brewster (0-1), A Burns, G McDermott, R Judge, R McCabe (0-2), S Bradley (0-1, free), C Bradley (0-1)

Subs: N Keenan for McDermott (HT), C McEnhill for Duffy (50), R McEnhill for Burns (51)

Bellaghy: C Donnelly, P Downey, D O’Neill, C Diamond, K Diamond, C McNally, P Diamond, D Quinn (0-1, free), J Mulholland, G Diamond (0-3, two frees), B Lee (0-3, one free), D Cassidy, E Cassidy (0- 1), C Scullion (0-2), J Cassidy (0-2)

Subs: L McPeake for P Diamond (27)


AIB Ulster CFC semi-final: Crossmaglen 3-10 St John’s 0-11

Cross fire wrecks Johnnies’ dreams

AS soon as the former All-Ireland champions dropped behind, Crossmaglen’s fire power opened up in devastating style, a 13-minute spell shattering the hopes of young semi-finalists St John’s yesterday.

Antrim’s battling hopefuls squeezed in front two minutes into the second half, a quite magnificent converted free wide on the left from 60yds by Enda McAtamney shooting St John’s 0-6 to 0-5 ahead.

The reply was stunning.

In less than 40 seconds a long delivery from John McEntee was taken by Cathal Shortt, he beat full-back Mark Bohill, and a low shot found its way to the net despite keeper Brian McNulty getting a hand to it.

Crossmaglen had made the big breakthrough.

The danger signs had already been posted on a number of occasions early in the first half, but when they finally broke through scores rattled up from all angles.

Shortt’s goal was followed by another expert piece of play by McEntee to set up Anthony Cunningham, and the points continued to flow, another three within the next 10 minutes with a 45th minute penalty tapping off a ruthless passage of fast-action attacking football.

Crossmaglen: P Hearty, M Califf, D Murtagh, C Dooley, F Shields (0-1), F Bellew, G McShane, J McEntee, A Cunningham (0-1), C Shortt (1-2), C O’Neill, O McConville (0-5, all frees), J McConville (1-0), G Cumiskey, O McEntee.

Subs: M Moley (1-1) for Cumiskey (35); J Fitzpatrick for Shields (46); K Donnelly for O McEntee (54)

St John’s: B McNulty, L McCurdy, M Bohill, M O’Neill, G Adams (0-1), J Kelly, C Anderson, J Murphy, G Heaney (0-1), E McAtamney (0-4, all frees), J Wilson (0- 1), D Swail, A McGowan, B Mackin, D Kennedy.

Subs: E McKenna (0-2) for Mackin (30); P Nolan (0-1) for Heaney (44); C McKnight (0-1) for McAtamney (55).


HIGHFLYER... Bellaghy’s John Mulholland wins this midfield ball despite the close attention of the Brewster brothers Paul (right) and Tom (left) during yesterday’s Ulster Club semi-final

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