For many of us sports fan, the month of June was dominated by the European Championships, but despite the excitement of the tournament in France, and the great success of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland over there, it has also been a busy time for local sport.
Starting with GAA, the month kicked off at Clanabogan Park, on the outskirts of Omagh, where Drumragh Sarsfields took on Owen Roes Leckpatrick in a Tyrone All County League Division 3 fixture. The game brought two teams together in a hard fought and entertaining game, and ultimately it was the visitors from Glenmornan who left the sun kissed Clanabogan Park with the 2 points. Elsewhere, in the Tyrone ACL Division 1, Edendork St Malachy’s faced Clonoe O’Rahillys, and Omagh St Endas took on Trillick St Macartans. With both games being starred fixtures, the teams went head to head without their respective county players, an anomaly which regularly takes the sting off games. Both games were won comfortably by Clonoe O’Rahillys and Omagh St Endas respectively.
Moving on to the Provincial Ulster Football Championships, I attended the Ladies and the Mens Senior Football championships across the same weekend. Starting off with the Ladies, Ballinamullan (Killyclogher GAA) hosted an exciting double header of Cavan v Donegal and Monagahan v Armagh. Both games provided an excellent standard of football which kept the crowds cheering from start to finish. Cavan and Monaghan emerged as the respective victors and will now face each other in the Ulster Senior Ladies Football Championship Final, a big achievement for Cavan, for whom it will be their first ever appearance in a Senior Ladies Ulster Final.
The next day the Ulster Minor and Senior football championship semi-finals took place in a washed out St Tiernachs Park. In the main event, conditions proved tough for Tyrone and Cavan, but both teams showed great attitude and ability. With minutes remaining it looked as if Mickey Harte’s men were going to progress to their first Ulster final since 2010, but a David Givney goal (his second of the game) drew the sides level. After the goal, Tyrone went on the search for a late winning score, but it proved too little too late as referee David Gough blew the full time whistle. Both teams will meet again for the replay scheduled for a fortnight’s time. In the minor game, it was Derry who progressed to the Ulster football final after defeating a battling Armagh side after extra time.
Moving on to Soccer I attended the quarter final of the Ladies Divisional Cup between Cappagh Spurs and the Killen Rangers ladies. A thrilling encounter at Youth Sport Omagh saw Jason Aiken’s Killen Hawks record a 5-2 victory and fly into the semi-finals where they meet the Glentoran Ladies. With the mens senior football leagues not starting pre-season until July, attentions were drawn towards two charity matches. The first of these was ‘The Dermot Duggan Testimonial’, a charity match organised by Omagh man Dermot Duggan in aid of Marie Curie and Alzheimer charity groups. A fun day was had by all the participants. Elsewhere was the Mark Lynch and Gary Freed memorial tournament organised by Beragh Swifts. This is a tournament which is going from strength to strength every year, with many teams from the Fermanagh and Western area participating in small sided games.
Congratulations once again too to all the teams and individuals who gained success and organised the charity events over the last month! We can look forward to another great month of local sport ahead.