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7 May 1998 Edition

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Sportsview: Put the Champers on ice

Celebrations are on hold for another week as another cock-up by the men in green and white gave Celtic fans more grey hairs. Dunfermline gave Rangers a lifeline after their home defeat at the hands of St Johnstone.

Celtic on the other hand were within ten minutes of winning the title until one Craig Faulconbridge put the celebrations on hold for another day. Hopefully. Celtic goalscorer Simon Donnelly admitted the Dunfermline goal, which came unexpectantly, had ``knocked the stuffing'' out the Bhoys. Celtic continued to press forward but the winning goal was just not forthcoming. With one game left at home to St Johnstone, and Rangers away to Dundee Utd and Celtic two points clear, it should be some night in the Eastend of Glasgow next Saturday night.

In the National League St Patrick's Athletic leap frogged over Shelbourne to steal the title on Friday night, their third this decade. They secured their triumph with a win over already relegated Kilkenny City. Shels were favourites for the title and even the trophy was at their match in Dundalk, as were the TV cameras. Dundalk however spoilt the party by beating Shels 2-1. St Pats had to make do with being presented with the `reserve trophy' (a trophy given to the FAI after a game with the League of Wales). I'm sure they weren't too bothered in Inchicore though, where I understand the celebration continued well into Saturday morning in the Dublin suburb.

Hurling League semis


Waterford claimed a place in the National Hurling League final for the first time in over 30 years at Thurles with a fine win over Limerick. Waterford were in control for most of the match despite a rattle in the second half from Limerick's Gary Kirby, who rifled home a 35-yard free to give Limerick some hope. Four minutes later Limerick cut the lead to one point and Waterford looked in trouble. Waterford however rode the storm and are now into their first major final since 1963.

The Rebel County look to be back to winning ways after their demolition job on Clare, also at Semple Stadium. A bad perfomance from the Banner county did not contribute to what was not the most riveting of afternoon's hurling.

The championship kicked off in Leinster with the usual fall guys going out at the first hurdle in the preliminery round. Wexford beat Longford by 2-13 to 1-16 while Westmeath desposed of Carlow 1-18 to 2-5.

Comiserations to Dubliner Ken Doherty after losing 18 frames to 12 to Scot John Higgins in England. Ken was as usual gracious in defeat.

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