Back in the day - Derry's Ulster Football Championship preparations in turmoil - The Irish News, May 22 1999
DERRY’S Ulster Football Championship preparations remained in turmoil last night with doubts over the participation of Ballinderry and Lavey players continuing.
County joint-manager Adrian McGuckin is also understood to have attended a club meeting on Thursday night in his native Ballinderry where reaction to the Shamrocks outfit’s expulsion from the remainder of this year’s Derry league was gauged.
Lavey brothers Seamus and Henry Downey haven’t trained with the county over the last three weeks.
The Derry county board’s decision to expel their club from the all-county league will increase speculation about that duo’s inter-county future.
Brian McCormack is the other Lavey clubman in the county squad while the Ballinderry representatives include Sean Donnelly, Enda Muldoon, Declan Bateson and Niall McCusker.
Derry’s opening Ulster Championship assignment is a tricky opener against 1997 provincial winners Cavan at Casement Park on June 13.
Both clubs have expressed shock at their expulsion from the remainder of this year’s Derry senior football leagues following the Oak Leaf county board’s adjudication into the disturbances at a recent division one game.
JIM Magilton’s disappointment on missing out on possible promotion to the Premiership will be eased somewhat by his recall to the Northern Ireland squad.
The Ipswich Town midfielder, whose side lost out to Bolton Wanderers in the First Division play-off semi-finals, is back after an absence of almost a year.
Magilton has been named in the squad for the International Challenge Match against the Republic of Ireland in aid of the Omagh Appeal Fund to be held at Lansdowne Road next Saturday, May 29.
THREE local players are included on the Irish men’s team just announced for the six nations’ tournament in Malta, June 15-22.
Campfield cousins Conor and Michael (both Cathal Brugha) are capped for the first time, while Queen’s accountancy student Chris French (Clonard) adds to his tally of international headgear.
The rest of the line-up is drawn from only two clubs, seven from Irish champions Half Moon and four from North Dublin: Ciaran O’Driscoll, Jason Stynes, George Dunn, Gary O’Brien, Shane and Niall Moraghan, and Dave Roche (all Half Moon); Paul McMenamin, Gerry Wilkes, Paul Morris and Mick Cope (all North Dublin).
PROFESSIONAL promoter Frank Maloney is a master of the art of boxing hype – but tonight Belfast’s Damaen Kelly clearly must separate fact from fight night fable.
As champion Kelly, 26, counts down to tonight’s Maysfield Commonwealth and British title clash with veteran Scottish flyweight Keith Knox, he must not dismiss lightly his manager Maloney’s timely words of warning.
“Mickey Cantwell had to take six months off after tangling with Keith Knox for the British title – and Cantwell won that bloody title battle.”
“Cantwell had to sit in an ice bath to get the bruising down after that fight,” revealed the little Londoner.