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Derry take pot thanks to Devine's ace card

Managers take gambles on Cup final day, and sometimes they come off, as happened last Sunday when Derry City boss Declan Devine decided to leave ace striker Rory Patterson off his starting XI and introduce him in the second half. The fact that Patterson scored two goals, including the extra-time winner, was due reward for Devine's gamble.

Patterson, who missed a lot of the season through injury, would not have lasted the 90 minutes -- as happened Derry's other scorer, Stewart Greacen, who was also a long-term casualty -- and his late arrival meant he was fresh at the business end of the game.

Devine's gamble recalled that of legendary Limerick boss Ewan Fenton who, in 1971, kept Scot Hugh Hamilton in reserve until half-time in the final replay against Drogheda, and he responded with two goals in a 3-0 win.

Hamilton was the first substitute to score in a Cup final, and that feat has only been achieved on five occasions. Barry O'Connor (Bray, 1999), Paul Keegan (Longford, 2004), Seán O'Connor (St Pat's, 2006) and Patterson are the others, but only Hamilton and Patterson scored twice.

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Now that he's an American citizen, it was perhaps understandable that David Feherty should have got caught up in the election fever Stateside last week. Indeed he was swept along to the extent of imagining himself as ideal material for public office.

As the popular CBS on-course commentator pointed out: "I'm pro-choice, pro get-a-life and pro death, which means everyone would have to vote for me at least a third of the time". Indeed. It is 22 years, incidentally, since Feherty captained Ireland to a memorable victory in the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews.

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Dublin football fans may be a bit worried to hear that Rory O'Carroll, their trusted number three, lined out for the UCD hurlers in Clontarf last week. And not only did he really catch the eye with his display, but he did so while the UCD footballers were playing on the adjacent pitch. The question is will this be a sign of what's to come for 2013? His brother Ross has already committed to the small ball so maybe they will keep it in the family.

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Irish motorsport star Nicole Coffey may be only 14 but she is already dreaming big. The teenager wants to drive for Red Bull or Ferrari and she also hopes to be the first female F1 winner.

And she's on the right track. Coffey has already won the All-Ireland Karting Championships, the Munster Karting Club Championship, the Southern Karting Club Championship, and over the last couple of days she was one of only two international girls who competed in a group of 50 karters in Bahrain. It's a trophy race which showcases the best young drivers in the world.

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As sponsorship money for county teams declines, many squads use this time of year to engage in their own bit of fundraising to help balance the books. But coming up with something novel can be the biggest challenge.

Fermanagh last week announced details of the Brewster Brawl, which is an ambitious four-day event being organised by the county footballers. It will take place in a specially erected marquee in Brewster Park in Enniskillen from November 22-25. The event has something for everyone including four great nights of acting, singing, bruising boxing and, to round it all off, monster bingo. As well as raising funds to support team training costs, the players also intend to make a donation to the Cormac Trust.

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For the second consecutive season Detroit Lions' All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been recognised by his fellow players, albeit not in a good way.

Suh has been voted the dirtiest player in the NFL for the second season running. The third-year pro received 32 votes out of a poll of 103 current NFL players. Consistency is obviously one of Suh's attributes.

Marie Crowe, Seán Ryan

and Dermot Gilleece


Sunday Indo Sport