Loughmacrory Under 16s off to winning start in Championship at Owen Roes
Loughmacrory had a tough opener in the Under 16 Grade 2 football championship against an Owen Roes side, who had defetaed them in the league and who had finished top of the section with an unbeaten run in that series.
After the initial tie had to abandoned due to adverse weather conditions a fortnight ago, with Loughmacrory having led 1-6 to 1-2 at the time, there was some anticipation at the refixture on Sunday morning.
It proved to be a titanic affair with brilliant football from both committed young sides. A near gale force wind and very heavy pitch certainly made play difficult but both contended with the conditions with a certain level of aplomb all the same.
A crucial first half goal from Gareth Donaghy meant that Loughmacrory held a decisive 1-05 to 1-3 interval lead, having played into the severe wind in that opening period. The St. Teresa’s had actually trailed by 1-1 to 0-0 after just five minutes but bounced back with a ferocious display of tackling and work-rate. With Dara Curran, Nathan O’Brien and Liam Donaghy all performing solidly at the heart of defence, Diarmaid Gallagher excelling in his first-half sweepers role, Antoin Fox and Shane Grimes putting in a mammoth effort in the middle and Ronan Curran and Pearse Dobbs popping over some fine scores, it was actually Loughmacrory who led for the remainder of the game after Grimes’ point on 25 minutes to make it 1-3 to 1-2.
A brilliant second half goal from Pearse Dobbs provided the impetus to go an clinch a victory but an Owen Roes goal from Jordan McFadden did leave it 2-7 to 2-6 going into the final quarter of play. Ronan Curran, Pearse Dobbs, Antoin Fox, Conan McElholm and Ronan Curran again all added the remaining five points in the last quarter to secure victory and book a place in the last eight.
A terrific win, with the hallmark being a superb “team effort” on the day, ensuring a championship quarter final to come. But first up will be the league semi final against the hotly tipped Ardboe side next Saturday.
Teams, scores and match information to follow…
Saturday 17th September 2016
Ardboe O’Donovan Rossa (—) v (—) Loughmacrory St. Teresa’sU-16 League Grade 2 Knockout Semi Final, Galbally, 12:00 PM
Newtownstewart St Eugene’s (—) v (—) Moortown St Malachy’sU-16 League Grade 2 Knockout Semi Final, 12:00 PM