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Back in the day: Armagh GAA footballing talent gains Allstar consolation - The Irish News, Sep 2 1999

JUST REWARD...Paddy McKeever (centre) earns a place on the half-forward line for his outstanding performances for the Ulster champions
The Irish News Archive

ARMAGH may have come unstuck at Croke Park on Sunday, but the county has claimed nine positions on The Irish News 1999 Ulster GAA Allstar team unveiled this morning.

The readers’ selection of the best 15 footballers from the 1999 Ulster Championship will be honoured at the fifth annual gala dinner being staged in Cookstown this evening.

For their efforts in lifting the Anglo-Celt for the first time in 17 years, the Armagh players will be top of the winners’ podium tonight. However, the identity of the Ulster Fans’ Player of the Championship is being kept a closely guarded secret and will be revealed at the ceremony in the Glenavon Hotel.

Almost the entire Orchard defence, the model of consistency throughout the Ulster championship, has been selected.

Derry defender Sean Martin Lockhart, who also made the team last year, is the only man to breach the Armagh defence receiving the full-back slot after an impressive marking job on Diarmaid Marsden in the Ulster semi-final.

Brendan Tierney has been named in goals, having recovered from a shaky start in Ballybofey when he conceded two goals in the opening minutes.

Since then Tierney has been impenetrable with his shot-stopping, including a penalty from Gary Coleman, and distribution marking him apart.

Mullabawn brothers Enda and Justin McNulty have been named in the right- and left full-back positions.

Justin began the campaign against Donegal in midfield but soon moved to the left corner where he remained for the rest of the campaign. Younger brother Enda snuffed out the threat of Brendan Devenney and Joe Brolly before finally overcoming a lively battle with Shane Ward in the Ulster decider.

The Armagh half-back line was the success story of their Championship and it is hardly surprising the readers have voted for Hughes, McGeeney and McCann.

Armagh supporters may be disappointed to see neither Jarlath Burns nor Paul McGrane make midfield, but overall the strong individual performances of Anthony Tohill and Brian Burns seem to have impressed the Ulster fans.

Paddy McKeever may have been Armagh’s most effective forward in the All-Ireland semi-final but he also produced the goods playing in several different positions in the Ulster Championship, most memorably in Ballybofey with a late 1-1 to earn a draw with Donegal.

He is selected at right half-forward with Shane Mulholland, whose distribution and vision was instrumental in Down’s run to the Ulster final, at centre halfforward.

Brian Dooher’s excellent game for Tyrone at Casement Park sees him claim the left half-forward spot, having been selected at right half-forward three years ago.

1995 winner Mickey Linden is named at right corner-forward after productive outings against Antrim and Tyrone.

Diarmaid Marsden, another of last year’s winners, is named at full-forward after a prolific summer.

Another name on everyone’s list was Oisin McConville, who is selected in the left corner.

The Irish News Ulster Allstars 1999: Brendan Tierney (Armagh) Enda McNulty (Armagh), Sean M Lockhart (Derry), Justin McNulty (Armagh), Kieran Hughes (Armagh) Kieran McGeeney (Armagh) Andrew McCann (Armagh), Anthony Tohill (Derry) Brian Burns (Down), Paddy McKeever (Armagh), Shane Mulholland (Down), Brian Dooher (Tyrone), Mickey Linden (Down), Diarmaid Marsden (Armagh), Oisin McConville (Armagh).

 

Armagh captain Kieran McGeeney encouraging his team-mates against Fermanagh

 

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THE Ole Ole days are back at Lansdowne Road.

Second half goals from Robbie Keane and Mark Kennedy in the stifling heat last night dramatically increased Ireland’s chances of automatic qualification for Euro 2000.

It was a thoroughly deserved victory, a triumph for discipline and commitment, over a highly fancied Yugoslavian team.

Mick McCarthy would probably have settled for a draw and the runners-up spot in Group 8 but the three points now takes the pressure off the weekend trip to Croatia and left the manager in high spirits.

“All credit to the players, they were superb. Yugoslavia are a bloody good side but my players battled away and deserved to win.”

The only downer last night was the slight injuries to Denis Irwin and Roy Keane which puts their chances of playing in Zagreb in jeopardy, though McCarthy didn’t rule out their inclusion in the away games in Croatia and Malta.

Republic of Ireland: Kelly, Irwin, Staunton, Breen, Cunningham, Roy Keane, Kilbane, Kinsella, Quinn, Robbie Keane, Kennedy.

Subs: Carr for Irwin (54), Carsley for Roy Keane (70), Cascarino for Quinn (79).

Yugoslavia: Kocic, Komljenovic, Bolic, Govedarica, Djukic, Stankovic, Ivadj, Mijatovic, Milosevic, Savicevic, Mihajlovic.

Subs: Drulovic for Savicevic. Referee: Pierluigi Collina (Italy).

 

THE K CLUB....Robbie Keane (right) is congratulated by Kevin Kilbane and Mark Kennedy after scoring the opening goal at Lansdowne Road last night

 

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ST MARY’S, Ahoghill got the perfect tonic after the trauma they suffered at the weekend with the burning of their clubrooms, when the camogie team beat Dunloy last night to win the Antrim Junior Championship – their first county camogie title in 23 years.

They led at half-time by 1-5 to 0-4, with Teresa O’Connor the goalscorer.

Teresa added another goal during the second half while her sister Mairead grabbed the other two in a 4-12 to 1-5 victory. Charlotte Molloy was the Dunloy goalscorer.

Ahoghill will tonight play host to the U14 Camogie Championship final with Portglenone Geraldines taking on Antrim Feile champions St Malachy’s Belfast.

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