Throughout the month of January I had the privilege of attending a variety of sporting events. We begin with GAA, and the first game I attended in 2017 was the 24-hour marathon match which took place at the Tyrone GAA Centre of Excellence in Garvaghey. The event saw approximately 42 gaels/volunteers playing and coordinating a 24-hour marathon match aimed at raising funds for the Michaela Foundation and Cancer focus. I attended the match twice, first at the start, then twelve hours later, when in the dark hours the player’s energies were slowly and understandably starting to drain. Spirits, however, stayed high, and in fact strengthened in what continued to be an enjoyable event throughout, and one which included some familiar faces from across the GAA scene. Full credit to all associated within the Michaela Foundation team on organising such a fantastic event.
Staying with GAA I attended the McKenna Cup fixture between Tyrone and a youthful Donegal team at Healy Park where Mickey Harte’s team recorded a convincing 2-23 0-09 win which included a goal each from debutants Ronan McHugh and Cahir McCullagh. This result saw Tyrone winning their group therefore advancing to the semi-finals where they defeated Fermanagh, before defeating Derry in the final to record a sixth consecutive McKenna Cup success.
Elsewhere, the Tyrone ladies got their National League division 2 campaign underway with a hard-earned win over a battling Sligo team, thanks to some excellent scores from star forwards Gemma Begley and Niamh O’Neill, which kicked off their 2017 season in style.
Moving on to soccer and Strathroy Harps kept their quadruple ambitions alive with a string of well-deserved wins, including a 4-0 win over Limavady United and a 3-0 win over Enniskillen Town.
By contrast, Strule United’s campaign in Division One of the Fermanagh and Western continues to prove a struggle, after a dejecting 2-1 defeat against visitors Killen Rangers at Donnelly’s Holm, with goals from Timmy Crompton leaving the Omagh side close to the relegation zone.
Dunbreen Rovers recorded a 3-2 win over Maguiresbridge, with Rovers goalkeeper Keelan Pritchard producing some vitally important and eye-catching saves throughout the match to keep his side in front. The win is likely to have ensured Gerard McCaskie’s side will maintain their Fermanagh and Western division 2 status for next season.
In other Sporting news, Aidan Bradley’s Omagh Thunder basketball club hosted the Craigavon Eagles at the Station Centre Omagh with both teams battling it out game throughout the 4 quarters, before Omagh Thunder powered their way to a 10 point victory.
From the basketball court to the Conneywarren rugby park, and Phill Marshall’s Omagh Academicals rugby team defeated the Dromore Rugby team thanks to 2 impressive tries coming from scrum half Stewart McCain. The scores helped earn the Omagh side the bonus point, and left them in second place of the Kukri Qualifying league 1 behind the Instonians. The two top of the table sides are scheduled to play next month in a mouth-watering clash.
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.