An Phoblacht 2 - 2022 small

5 March 1998 Edition

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Sportsview: Down and out in Dunloy

Dunloy have little to cheer about after their exit from the All-Ireland Club Championship in Mullingar. Spirits won't be helped by the fact the club are also banned from the competiton next year following their supporters' misbehaviour at the Ulster final. With 20 minutes to go the Antrim side were in the lead by a point and had two more men after Galway's Sarfield's lost Donal Keane and Michael Ward in the second half. In the final 20 minutes the 13 Galway men rose to the challenge and Dunloy, under severe pressure from the resulting onslaught, never got back into the game.

In the St Patrick's Day final Sarfields will meet Birr of Offaly, who disposed of the challenge of Clarecastle after extra time on Saturday.

National League

The National League programme is nearing its end with the Dubs managing a win in Dungnnon against Tyrone while Kerry managed a five point win over Monaghan in Section C. Both counties meet at Parnell Park in the last round, which might be the deciding game to see who will be playing in Division Three next season. Wins for Offaly in this section sees them safely in Division one next season and a place in the quarter-finals. Donegal look safe at the top of Section B, while Cork, Kildare and Down all won, and will battle it out for the top spots in Section D in the last round. Three counties could all qualify from Section A, with Connacht champions Mayo leading the pack, followed by Galway and Laois.

`Cheer up Walter Smith...'

After Celtic's 1-0 win at Easter Road and the 2-2 drawn game at Ibrox between Rangers and Hearts, the chase for the title lies firmly in Celtic's hands, with only nine games remaining. Marc Reiper's 25th minute strike was enough to collect all three points from the Hibees and put the Celts two points clear at the top of the table. At Ibrox the Rangers' challenge for ten successive titles is looking more precarious by the week. It was the German Albertz who saved the Gers' blushes with his late goal. He also saved them the week previously at Hibernian.

Staying in Scotland, Lawrence Donnegan, writing in the Irish Times, was at Clydebank's away fixture at Forfar last Saturday in the depths of the Scottish second division to gauge opinion on recent moves to relocate the financially strapped club to Dublin. ``These people [the owners] have not bought a football club called Clydebank, they have bought membership of the Scottish League, and they couldn't less about the team. What they've done is asset stripping,'' one fan said. Another was more direct: ``Haw Hall [the player/manager] ya specie bastard. Ah hope yer plane to Dublin crashes.'' It might be better for all concerned if it doesn't get off the ground.


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