May was a busy month of sport, including the eagerly anticipated return of the Ulster Provincial football championship, with the first round match between Tyrone and Derry.
The month kicked off at the Riverside Stadium in Drumhaoe where Institute and Ballinamallard United met in their relegation/promotion Play off 1st leg. The Mallards clinched the match with a 2-1 win after goals from Stephen O’Flynn and John Currie, but the second leg is yet to be played due to controversial circumstances, as Warrenpoint Town made an appeal to the IFA regarding Carrick Rangers manager Gary Heavron not fulfilling a 3 game touchline suspension. As it stands the fixture has been put on hold until the situation is dealt with. A major dilemma for the clubs involved.
Running along, we move to the Killyclogher 10k, which ended with Stephen Duncan (1st place 32.14) Paul Barbour (2nd Place 34.07) and Michael Reilly (3rd place 34.32) recording podium positions. Personally, it was an honour to run the 10k event wearing a Run for Enda jersey in memory of Killyclogher teenager Enda Dolan. A fortnight later the Miles for Matty events were held in memory of Matthew Drumm. I was able to live stream participants competing in both these events through periscope, and both were watched by many people all over the world. In both of these well organised events, it was great to see so many participants competing for the Northern Ireland Transplant association. In other local sport I attended the Omagh St Endas Golf classic where I was able to live stream and periscope some of the action for the followers of the DOCSPORT Facebook and Twitter pages. The event proved a success with over 40 teams teeing off at the Omagh Golf Club.
Onto football and two of the biggest derbies in Tyrone GAA took place as Killyclogher St Marys met Omagh St Endas and Trillick St McCartans faced Dromore St Dympnas. Both fixtures were starred games, leaving the sides without their county players, and ended with wins for Killyclogher and Dromore respectively. At Celtic park in the return of the Ulster Provincial football championship the Red hands of Tyrone put in a solid performance to see off rivals Derry and advance to the semi-finals, with 3 goals in the first half proving decisive for Mickey Harte’s men. Unfortunately the Tyrone Minors weren’t as successful in their Ulster championship campaign, as having put in a maximum effort from the start they fell just short to a very impressive Derry Minor squad.
Finally, I was delighted to attend the RDS for the Pro 12 semi-final between Leinster and Ulster. As an extra bonus, I happened to be sitting near World Number 3 golfer Rory McIlroy, who was taking a break from the Irish Open which he went on to win. On the pitch, a very entertaining game amongst an electric atmosphere saw Leinster defeat Ulster in style to progress to the final in Murrayfield, Edinburgh, where they ultimately lost out to provincial neighbours Connacht.
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.