Throughout the month of April I continued to attend a variety of local sporting events.
We begin with Athletics and at the beginning of April thousands of runners packed the Old Mountfield road, Omagh to participate in the 28th Spar Omagh Half Marathon and 5k fun run. The race was eventually won by local Omagh harrier runner Stephen Duncan, who completed the race in an astonishing 1:10:05.
Moving on to football, and in the Mulhern cup Strule United travelled to the Ecclesville Centre in Fintona where they met Fintona Swifts in the quarter final. The game ended 3-0 in favour of the visiting Strule team thanks to an outstanding hat trick from central midfielder Daniel Parkinson. The win booked Niall McAleer’s side into the semi-final where they were eventually defeated 1-0 by Beragh Swifts. With their cup run coming to an end Strule turned their attentions to the league where they were faced with a relegation dogfight. A 3-0 win over Magheraveely FC, thanks to goals from Paddy Doherty (2) and Lee Brown, helped boost their hopes of regaining Division 1 status. Returning to the Mulhern Cup, and holders Strathroy Harps defeated rivals Enniskillen Town United in a 6-2 thriller at the Omagh Leisure Complex to reach the semi-final where they went on to defeat Enniskillen Athletic 3-0 to reach their 3rd consecutive final, joining Beragh Swifts in the decider. Success would follow for the Harps, as a dramatic penalty shoot on win ensured that they retained their trophy.
Moving on to the Irish League, and Ballinamallard United travelled to Shamrock Park to play Portadown FC. Niall Currie’s side defeated the Mallards 1-0 to keep their slim survival hopes alive thanks to a Ross Larkin goal. However, the next day Portadown FC where relegated after other results failed to go their way. Coincidentally, the same results were enough to ensure that Ballinamallard United secured premier league status for next season.
In other sports news the Tyrone Ladies All County League got underway for the 2017 season where Omagh St Enda’s hosted Aghyaran St Davog’s at St Patricks Park. The St Davog’s earned the 2 points with a comfortable victory over St Endas.
In the Omagh District Snooker final at the Coach Inn Adrian Ballantyne secured a 4-2 victory over Adam McMackin in a match which finished in the early hours of Saturday morning. A late night but worth it.
In Rugby, after securing the Kukri Q1 title, Omagh Academicals turned their attentions to the All-Ireland Qualifiers where they were in with a chance to compete in the rugby All Ireland leagues for next season. Despite mixed results in previous games Omagh defeated Munster opponents Clonmel RFC 25-13 to keep themselves in the running, and went on to secure All Ireland league status for next season following a 29-9 win over Boyne RFC in Co Meath.
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.