As the summer months arrived, there was no shortage of exciting sporting events to look forward to, particularly in the case of local GAA and Soccer.
We begin with GAA where in the Masters competition Tyrone officially got their season well underway with two valuable home victories over Donegal and Down respectively, both of which were played at Ballinamullan GAA grounds, Killyclogher. Both of these games were played in extraordinary fashion, proving a great advert for the ever growing GAA Masters competition. Under the guidance of Eugene Bradley, the Tyrone masters will be hoping to continue their winning run in the competition aiming to reach another All Ireland final having been pipped by Dublin last season.
In the Tyrone Senior Ladies Championship, Donaghmore St Patricks defeated Drumragh Sarsfields at Ballinmullan, by a score of 1-13 to 1-4. The win saw them advance to the quarter finals. In the men’s Tyrone ACL Division 3, Kildress Wolfe Tones recorded a comfortable victory over Glenelly St Josephs at Tierney Park, allowing them to maintain their top 4 position as we approach mid-season. In Division 1, Coalisland Na Fianna pipped Dromore St Dympnas to a one-point victory at Gardrum Park, which also keeps them in contention for a play-off spot.
Moving on to soccer, and with the Bank holiday Monday Irish Junior Cup final under scrutiny, Tummery Athletic instead maintained their focuses on another all-important fixture against reigning champions and league leaders Enniskillen Rangers, at the Ball Range. Rangers only required a point to retain their title and they managed it with a 2-2 draw, thanks to a late equaliser from Jason Keenan. It’s back to back titles for Michael Kerr’s side.
A few weeks later the same two sides met again to finally compete in the controversial Irish Junior cup final, which had been suspended for many weeks, and saw Enniskillen reinstated for the final. Jason Keenan proved to be the Rangers hero once again as he headed in a valuable goal in the first half, helping Rangers to their third consecutive Irish Junior cup successes to go along with their back to back league titles.
In the women’s premier league Sion Swifts played out the league champions Linfield ladies to a 1-1 draw, with goals coming from Ciara Grant (Sion Swifts) and Caitlin McGuiness (Linfield). The final score of this game saw the Belfast side drop points for the first time this season, their 100% winning run coming to an end as they conceded their first goal of the year.
In the Women’s League cup final at a sun-kissed Seaview (Belfast) Glentoran defeated the battling Sion Swifts 2-0, with both goals coming from Demi Vance in the second half, to seal the league cup for the East Belfast side.
Congratulations too to all the teams and individuals who gained success in the last two months! We can look forward to another great blog of local sport ahead.