April proved to be an action packed month for local sport, with action in Rugby, soccer, GAA and Snooker. The month kicked off at the Kingspan Stadium where Ulster defeated a high flying Connacht team who stumbled to their first defeat of 2016. This result for Les Kiss’s team kept their play off and champions cup ambitions alive for next season. Closer to home, Omagh Academicals took on local rivals Clogher Valley, putting on a sterling performance which included 5 well worked tries to record a comfortable victory over the Valley men, in what was their last game of the season.
Moving on to Football, the Mulhern Cup quarter final took place at Donnelly’s holm, with Omagh Hospitals enduring a heavy defeat at the hands of Lisbellaw. The Hospitals took the lead in somewhat fortuitous circumstances when William Mc Frederick’s goal kick ricocheted off the back of Hospitals striker Mickey McCullagh and into the net, but were unable to take advantage, with Lisbellaw going on to win the game 5-1. Lisbellaw have since went on to reach the final where they will now meet the current holders Strathroy Harps, who defeated Beragh Swifts 4-2 at Ferney Park, in what promises to be a compelling cup final. Elsewhere, I completed the April football schedule with a trip to the Bawnacre Irvinestown where Irvinestown Wanderers defeated NFC Kesh 7-1 in a game which saw Wanderer’s striker Joey Millar claim a well-deserved hat trick.
Away from the Fermanagh and western, I was fortunate to attend the charity football match, Match for Hoss, which was held in memory of Joseph McDermott. Family and friends of Joseph got together as the match raised funds for the Kevin Bell repatriation trust. With Facebook’s new live streaming system, I was able to stream the game live through my phone, allowing people as far off as Australia to watch it on their TV’s, in what was a special occasion for all involved.
In GAA, after a successful campaign across March, Tyrone competed in their 2nd consecutive U21 final at the Athletic grounds where they took on a determined Monaghan team. The game turned out to be an exciting affair played in very tough conditions, and after a great exhibition of scores from both teams, it was the impressive Farney men who seen the game out with their first U21 title since 1999 and their 3rd title overall.
My next GAA event saw me attend the Allianz NFL division 2 and division 1 finals where Tyrone and Dublin achieved well-earned victories defeating Cavan and Kerry respectively. All roads now lead to the Ulster championship preliminary v Derry in Celtic Park!
Away from the sports fields and on to the baize, April also saw the Omagh district snooker league finals night. Barry Loughran was this years big winner, defeating Dwayne Timlin 4-3 to claim his 2nd ever title in what was an extremely competitive game which carried on until the early hours of Saturday morning at the Coach Inn, Omagh. Congratulations also to John Quinn who defeated Adam McMackin to win the Junior Individuals beforehand.
Once again congratulations to all the teams and individuals who gained success in the last month. We look forward to another great month of local sport ahead!