On this Day in the Irish News: April 10 1999

Armagh were without Diarmaid Marsden for their National League quarter-final against Sligo in April 1999.
Picture by Ann McManus

NFL quarter-final: Armagh v Sligo

By Kenny Archer

ARMAGH’S problems are mounting ahead of tomorrow’s NFL quarter-final against Sligo, with Diarmaid Marsden ruled out, Benny Tierney doubtful, and Paddy McKeever in bed with ‘flu’.

The Ballyhegan player, one of 11 ever-presents in the league campaign, did not train on Thursday night, restricted by illness to his bed, but is expected to travel with the squad to Longford.

Marsden’s absence, though feared since last weekend, is a major blow to the Orchard County’s hopes. The Clan na Gael forward is Armagh’s top scorer in the NFL this season, notching 4-19 in his seven appearances from a team total of 11-68.

He has failed to recover from the groin injury he picked up after only 10 minutes of last Sunday’s InterProvincial semi-final against Munster, having played just 24 hours earlier in his county’s final divisional match against Leitrim.

Crossmaglen’s John McEntee is in the running to replace Marsden, along with the likes of David Wilson and Peter Loughran, the latter also entering the reckoning if McKeever misses out, along with Alan O’Neill and Paul Dynes.

Goalkeeper Tierney’s possible loss will be more bearable. Regarded as the number one number one prior to this season, the Mullabawn man has actually played one game fewer than Silverbridge’s Mark Campbell so far, and the latter is seen as an excellent alternative.

Gaelic Games

By Kenny Archer

DOWN have denied suggestions that Peter Withnell will return to the county fold – but double All-Ireland winner Ross Carr has confirmed that he will be back.

Mourne County manager Pete McGrath rubbished reports that Cliftonville striker Withnell would become a dual code player once again.

He said: “We revamped the county panel a fortnight ago and Peter Withnell was not on it.”

County secretary Brian McAvoy also stated that no letter of invitation had been sent to the Drumaness man, who told the Irish News last year that he would be concentrating on his soccer career.

However, Down’s lengthy courtship of Carr and recent letter of invitation have resulted in his promise to come back to inter-county football. The Clonduff man telephoned McGrath on Thursday night to tell him he was unable to make training but announced his intention to rejoin the panel within ten days.

McGrath was delighted that Carr had responded to repeated overtures from county officials, commenting: “I watched him in a club game recently and he’s an experienced player who still has a lot to offer to Down.”

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