Tuesday, 20 March 2018 at 11:31 AM Joe Hegarty
With a first round win over Beragh and taking extra time to overcome Both Domhnaigh, the Owen Roe’s/Clan na nGael Minor team travelled to Killyclogher on Friday night last with some degree of confidence in their ability to take home the Grade 2 Minor Championship title. In terms of adult Club status it was Junior v Senior but the lads were here on the merit of being Grade 2 players, having also acquitted themselves well in the League. However, Coalisland were also deserved finalists and they too were out for silverware.
It was Owen ro’s who settled the quicker into the game finally finding their range after a couple of missed point chances when first Ryan Devine from a free then Conall Mc Cormack from play opened up a 2 point lead for the north Tyrone side. However the glut of possession and being almost camped in Na Fianna’s half of the field wasn’t paying dividends on the scoreboard and when finally Coalisland broke down the Owen Roe’s pressure they reaped the rewards with 6 unanswered points from Tiarnan Quinn (3), Eoghain Rankin (2) and Jack Donnelly (1). Indeed it was both Quinn and Rankin who were to prove to be the downfall of the Owen Roe’s side as the match progressed. Time was running out in this first half, and Owen Roe’s knew they had to get the gap closed before going in the break. The ball was being kept in the Coalisland half with some good play from Conn Tinney. Conall Mc Cormack, Ryan Devine and Ruari Boylan were making good attacking runs but the attacks just weren’t converting to scores. It was to be Ryan Devine however who was finally to bring it to the narrowest of margins by the time referee Sean Hurson blew half time with 3 unanswered points, 1 from play and 2 from frees, to leave it 0-05 to 0-06.
The second half was to be prove to be almost a tit-for-tat game. Ryan Devine opened the scoring again form a free to draw level. Na Fianna pointed, Daniel Houston pointed, then Rankin again. As with the first half the Roe’s lads had the majority of ball and territory possession but missed chances, the uprights and some wayward play allowed Na Fianna the odd foray upfield and it was they who were much more proficient as the last quarter would prove. The Coalisland boys now had their sights set on goal and but for some good netminding from Daire Devine and some good defensive play from Conor Devine, Niall Kerlin, Peter O’Flaherty and Damien Mc Crossan, they may well have capitalised sooner. One such chance was well cleared but John Campbell picked on the loose ball for a point to open a 2 point gap. Then the east Tyrone finally found the net when Rankin beat Devine to stretch it to 5. Niall Mc Aleer pulled back a point but again Rankin cancelled it. Devine (free) then Mc Aleer from play again showed there was still fight in this side but Quinn and Rankin had other ideas and kept their side in front. With the loss of Dylan Toner to two yellows and 2 more points from Ryan Devine bringing it back to a 3 point game, there was still some hope. Again however up stepped Quinn to bag the insurance goal that would see the Coalisland boys stretch to an unassailable 6 point lead on the stroke of full time. A disappointing night for the north Tyrone side but one in which they showed a lot of heart, effort, and pride and in some cases a lot of bravery!
Some players will be over the age for Minors next year but there was enough promise on the field on Friday evening to show these players are more than capable to continue their football in their Clubs’ Reserve and Senior teams (and maybe higher?) from here on. Others still have a year or two left in this age group and can maybe go a step further in the next few years to make up for this disappointment!
Finally a big thank you to all the players and also to the management of Tommy Kelly, Rory Devine, Gerard Devine and Charlie Mc Laughlin, to the large support who travelled on Friday to Killyclogher and to Killyclogher themselves for the welcome they gave to the team.
Owen Roe’s: Daire Devine, Conor Devine, Niall Kerlin, Peter O’Flaherty, Daniel Houston (0-01), Sean Kelly, Damien Mc Crossan, Conall Mc Cormack (captain) (0-01), Ryan Devine (0-08, 0-06 from frees), Seamus Mc Gale, Oisin Dooher, Conn Tinney, Niall Mc Aleer (0-02), Conor Kerlin, Ruairi Boylan.
Subs: Eoghain Quinn for Seamus Mc Gale, Adam Mc Elwee, Pearse Devine, Tomas O’Flaherty, Peter Kirk, Jamie Conway, Ronan Mc Gale and Shane Kelly.
Coalisland: Cainan Donnelly, Dylan Toner, Padraig Hamill, Patrick Campbell, Conor Doyle, Peter Lowe, Jack Fee (capt), Gavin Graham, Baily Leonard, Tiarnan Quinn (1-04), Eoghain Rankin (1-05), Jack Donnelly (0-01), Kevin O’Hanlon, Dylan Woods, Dan Talbot.
Subs: John Campbell (0-01) for __________, Odhrán Bayne for Bailey Leonard, Philip Gervin for Jack Donnelly, Bailey Leonard for Kevin O’Hanlon, Ronan Morgan, Rory Nixon, Ryan O’Donnell, Declan Mc Shane, Dion Doris, Mark Early, Mark Devlin, Luke Fox, Caoimhín Murphy.