Autumn Catch-up: Ciaran O’Doherty looks back on some of the best local sport from September and October.
This Autumn has presented the local sporting calendar with the usual weather challenges, but nor even storm Ophelia could stop a packed two months of GAA, Soccer and Basketball.
We begin with football, and in their 10th year of existence Sion Swifts ladies FC successfully achieved the Electric Ireland Ladies Irish cup for the first time in their history, after defeating Newry City Ladies 2-0 at Windsor Park, Belfast in September. Both of Sions goals came from their inspirational captain Kendra McMullen midway through the 2nd half. A great way to end what was a fantastic season for the club.
Moving on to the Irish Junior Cup, where Tummery Athletic earned a 6-2 victory over Newry based Villa Rovers at Crawford’s lane. Despite going 1-0 down Tummery fought back well thanks to a Cathal Beacom hat trick, Jonny Winser double and an Emmet McNabb goal, which made sure it was Benny McElholms team progressing to round 2.
In Fermanagh and Western Division 2 Dunbreen Rovers hosted Strule United in the first Omagh derby of the 17/18 season. Despite Rovers taking a 2-0 lead, thanks in part to a fantastic free kick from Nathan O’Donnell, Strule United’s never say die attitude and work rate saw them fightback for a 4-2 victory, continuing their positive start to their season.
To the GAA, and with the Tyrone Championships wrapped up I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Omagh St Endas (Senior), Moy Tir Na Ogs (Intermediate) and Tattyreagh St Patricks , on their respective championship victories.
In the Senior final at Healy Park, Omagh saw out Errigal Ciaran with a 2 point victory to claim their second title in 4 seasons. Omagh progressed to the Quarter finals of the Senior Ulster Club championships where they were eventually defeated by holders Slaughtneil (Derry) at Celtic Park.
The curtain raiser for the Tyrone senior county final also saw Galbally Pearses win the Tyrone U21 championship for the very first time with a convincing victory over Loughmacrory. In the Junior and Intermediate finals in Carrickmore, Tattyreagh put in a solid performance to earn championship success for the first time in their history. A James Darcy goal near the end of normal time was enough to see the motivated Tatts defeating a battling Clogher side. In the Junior Ulster Club the Tatts continued their remarkable journey reaching the Ulster Club semi-finals with an astonishing win over Dick Clerkin’s Currin at Healy Park. This included a fantastic goal from Eoghain Murrary which was recorded on camera in slow motion. Back to the Tyrone Intermediate final where the Moy also made history in Carrickmore when they defeated Derrylaughan by 1 point thanks to two goals from Harry Loughran to achieve their first championship success in 35 years. The Moy progressed to the quarter finals of the Intermediate Ulster Club championships with a narrow victory over Carrickmacross. This Ulster Club fixture was also played at Healy Park where the Moy team received a guard of honour when they came out from the victorious Tattyreagh team which no doubt gave them extra motivation before the game.
In Basketball, Omagh Thunder continued their unbeaten run in the Basketball Northern Ireland League Mens Division 1 with a 90-72 victory over the Magherafelt Titans, with Thunder player Charlie McKinney earning the VIP of the game award after scoring 36 points.
In other news the family of the late Dominic Earley officially launched the Doing it for Dom foundation at the Mullaghmore Community Centre in September. The organisation aims to host several events including sports to help raise funds to create scholarship opportunities for the youths short and long term goals throughout the community. I would like to extend my best wishes to this organisation and will support it in every way I can. One of their first events was a Poker Classic tournament hosted in the INF Omagh which was eventually won by Cian Marlow from Fintona.
Congratulations once again too to all the teams and individuals who gained success in the last month! We can look forward to another great month of local sport ahead.