It was a busy Autumn, with September and October providing plenty of gallivanting throughout the county to attend some of the most exciting sporting events of the year so far.
As usual we’ll start with the GAA, and following Tyrone’s defeat to Dublin in the All Ireland football final, the long awaited Intermediate and Senior Club Championships finally got underway. In the first week of attending fixtures of Friday night lights at Healy Park (Omagh) Stewartstown Harps progressed through to the Quarter Finals of the Intermediate championship after defeating Strabane Sigersons after extra time. In the senior fixture – which went on until 10:45pm following extra time in the previous game – Trillick St Macartans comfortably defeated Donaghmore St Patricks to progress to the Quarter Finals of the senior championships. The second week of fixtures at Healy Park saw Owen Roes defeat Aghaloo O’Neill’s by one point in injury time which saw them advance to the Quarter finals. Senior Football Championship 2017 Finalists Errigal Ciaran got their 2018 championship campaign underway with a dominant victory over long term rivals Carrickmore to also reach the Quarter Final stages of the competition.
Moving on from Tyrone to Fermanagh Senior Club Championships at Brewster Park where St Joseph’s Ederney reached the Senior Football Championship final defeating Erne Gaels in a highly entertaining semi-final. This game was without doubt one of the standout games throughout September as the St Joseph’s club were inspired by Fermanagh legend Martin McGrath who put in a solid performance from start to finish.
From the GAA pitch to the soccer pitch where in the Danske Bank Women’s Premier League Sion Swifts Ladies comfortably defeated Portadown Ladies 9-1 at the Melvin Sports Complex in Strabane including a hat-trick from Aimee Mackin. From Women’s football to Men’s football where in the Fonacab Irish Junior Cup fixtures Dunbreen Roveres where defeated 6-2 by visitors Willowbank YC of West Belfast at Youth Sport (Omagh). In Donnelly’s Holm (Omagh) Strule United fought back from 2-1 down to earn a 4-3 victory in a highly entertaining game which saw Niall McAleer’s side progressing to the next round.
In other news a special mention to Dromore’s very own Marathon man John McCann who organised/participated in a one day 70 mile charity run in his hometown of Dromore in aid of the Omagh Down Syndrome Support group. As seen in the Forest Gump movie many participants from far and wide joined John throughout his journey which was completed in an amazing 18 hours also recording an astonishing £15,000 for his selected charity.
Early November was a busy time for Cue Sports in Northern Ireland. World Snooker arrived to the Waterfront Hall for the third Northern Ireland Open, where Judd Trump got the better of Ronnie O’Sullivan in a high quality final. Meanwhile, more locally, another sport was ticked off the DOCSPORT bucket list as I attended the NIPPO Northern Ireland 8 Ball Pool Open Championships held at the Mellon Country Inn. Many competitors came from far and wide to participate in the many competitions they had to offer, with the weekend culminating in Dylan Leary eventually being crowned NIPPO Northern Ireland Champion for the second year in a row, after an impressive win over one of the games all time legends, Ronan McCarthy.
Congratulations once again too to all the teams and athletes who gained success in September! We can look forward to another great month of local sport ahead.