GAA Football

In The Irish News on Apr 28 1997: St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon capture Hogan Cup final honours

ACADEMIC PEDIGREE...St Patrick’s Dungannon forward Richard Thornton manages to keep possession during yesterday’s Hogan Cup decider despite the attentions of two Castlebar defenders.

Hogan Cup final: St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon 1-10 St Gerald’s, Castlebar 0-3

IN the end it proved easier than the 3,000 or so St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon supporters must have expected when they set out for Croke Park.

The slippery ball and greasy underfoot conditions meant that the panache of Dungannon’s semi-final goal blitz against Croist Ri was never going to be repeated against St Gerald’s, Castlebar.

But no matter. Hogan Cups, like every All-Ireland title, are about winning. For the losers only three token cheers.

The downpour, which began seemingly seconds after the completion of the hurling decider, meant it wasn’t going to be a day for forwards.

The slick inter-passing shown in Tullamore was made impossible by a ball which resembled a bar of soap. Indeed, the plaudits went to Dungannon’s exceptional defence.

Joint-team manager Martin O’Farrell picked out corner back Ciaran Gourley and captain Paul McGurk as the star performers.

Fullback McGurk’s once again showed fantastic anticipation throughout.

With the ball skidding along the turf and popping alarmingly out of hands, positional sense and anticipation was everything yesterday.

It was just up the captain’s street.

Rock clubman Gourley was indeed granite-like during the hour.

St Patrick’s: S Donaghy, C Gourley, P McGurk, C O’Hagan, J P McGeogh, C McKeown, G Hetherington, C Martin (0-1), J Quinn, D Somerville (0-1), B McGuigan (0-1), K Coary, M Rea (1-0), R Thornton (0-1), M Early (0-6).

Subs: W Lyons for Hetheringtron (60), N Quinn for McGuigan (60), B Early for Thornton (60).

St Gerald’s: C Ward, K Skahill, A Marley, D Hayes, J Fahey, J Feeney, A Dunne, T Earley, J Fitzmorris, K Hyland (0-1), M Hoban, C Lyons (0-1), C Staunton, F McHale, N Dunne.

Referee: P O’Toole (Longford)

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IT was a case of ‘I told you so’ when Cliftonville beat Glenavon 2-0 at Solitude on Saturday to secure their Premier Division future.

The win guarantees the Reds avoid a relegation play-off and Cliftonville boss Marty Quinn was quick to stress that he had always believed his charges would guide the Solitude club to safety.

“I have been saying all season that I was confident that we could pull away from the bottom of the league. We have retained our Premier Division status and that has always been our aim.”

Quinn stated that the 2-0 win over Glenavon, a dress rehearsal of Saturday’s Irish Cup final, had been relatively comfortable.

“We got our first goal after half-time and there was no way back for Glenavon after that. We can relax now and go out and enjoy the Irish Cup final.”

The Cliftonville manager admitted that nerves were at breaking point at Solitude on Saturday. “It was 0-0 at half-time both here and in Ards’ game at the Oval. So things were very tense.”

Had Ards won at Glentoran, Cliftonville could only have avoided the basement slot by beating Glenavon, who finish sixth. As it turned out Ards lost 2-0.

 

STEP ASIDE...Tim McCann’s determination allows him to win this ball ahead of Glenavon duo Mark Glendinning and Lee Doherty at Mourneview Park on Saturday

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PHIL Babb has been left out of the Republic of Ireland squad for Wednesday’s crucial World Cup clash with Romania in Bucharest because he went missing at the weekend.

Republic boss Mick McCarthy gave up on the Liverpool central defender last night after a frantic search for the player since a late call last week because of injury.

“We added Phil to the 20-man panel on Friday but all efforts to contact him over the last 48 hours have failed,” said McCarthy.

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VETERAN two-times heavyweight champion George Foreman extended his record to 76 wins in 80 contests as he won a split decision over previously unbeaten Lou Savarese to retain his World Boxing Union crown in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Foreman, now 48, has scored 60 knock-outs in his career but he has failed to stop any of his opponents of the last 30 months inside the distance.

One judge carded the bout 114-113 in favour of Savarese while the two others had Foreman at 115-112 and 118-110.

Foreman said his early strategy was to go for the knock-out punch and although he failed to make a dent in Savarese he said: “It was a decision for me and that’s really all I care about.”

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