Owen Roe's fall at the Championship semi-final hurdle

Owen Roe's v Tattyreagh, Friday, 29 September 2017

Junior Championship
Result: 1-10 1-16

Monday, 18 March 2019 at 02:10 PM Joe Hegarty

Having already secured the Division 3 League title and promotion to Division 2 football in 2018, the Owen Roe’s Senior team travelled to Omagh last Friday night to take on Tattyreagh in the semi-final of the Junior Championship, the dream of that elusive Championship title still there to make some history for the Leckpatrick club.

With an a run of 14 wins out of 14 games in the League, hopes were high of Owen Roe’s making further progress in the Championship but Tattyreagh stood in the way of making a first Junior Final appearance for the north Tyrone side.

When both teams met away back at the end of April, 4 points separated the sides in favour of Owen Roe’s but since then Tattyreagh had also been chasing the League in the hope of a slip up from the Roe’s along the way. As it is, they are sitting in second place in the League so this was a top-of-the-table clash to see who would progress to the decider this weekend.

The St Patrick’s side started the brighter with 3 unanswered points before Gerard Mc Shane picked off Owen Roe’s first score 5 minutes in. Ryan Mc Aleer clinched another and when Tony Devine collected the Tattyreagh kickout and found Seamus Dooher who pointed from a tight angle it was all square. Cathal Mc Shane picked off another from a free after he adjudged to have been fouled to put Leckpatrick in front but Tattyreagh levelled again with a fisted effort. The Tatts then hit a purple patch and posted 3 unanswered points before Mc Shane replied from another free. The Leckpatrick side then started to turn on the heat with another free from Mc Shane. Mc Aleer tore through the Tattyreagh rearguard and was unlucky to see his shot go off the crossbar. At the other Tattyreagh could have goaled only to see their chance go wide but it Owen Roe’s who saw it out to half time, keeping the tattyreagh side scoreless till the whistle. Seamus Dooher was to  pick off 2 further scores before Mc Shane dribbled the ball on the ground and shot for goal only for it to be parried away for a 45. The resultant free fell short for the Tattyreagh keeper to clear but the Leckpatrick side went in at the whistle 0-08 to 0-07 in front.

Owen Roe’s goalkeeper, Ryan Mc Shane, opened the second half scores with a well taken 45 but it was Tattyreagh’s turn to step the gears. Soon after kicking their first point of the second half, a scramble for a loose ball fell to the feet of Tattyreagh and a chip of the ball saw it come off the underside of the crossbar and in past Mc Shane. The St Patrick’s hit 2 further points and it was all Tattyreagh with 10 minutes gone. But up stepped the Owen Roe’s Tyrone panellist, Cathal Mc Shane to pick off a goal and brought the Roe’s back into the game. The game could have been turned around completely 3 minutes later when referee, Cathal Forbes, awarded Owen Roe’s a penalty after a foul on Mc Aleer. Cathal Mc Shane accepted the responsibility to take it but was unlucky to see the upright deny him. Tattyreagh made the most of the miss and pointed again. They could have stretched their lead further after tearing through the Roe’s defence only for the other Mc Shane in nets to pull off a fine save. However men in red and black weren’t to be deterred and 3 more points from play saw them make it a 5point game. All Owen Roe’s had in response was a pointed free from Mc Shane before the Tatts picked off another 2 points to leave it Owen Roe’s 1-10 Tattyreagh 1-16 and it was they who would advance to the Junior Final against Clogher.

A disappointing end to the Championship but with promotion already in the bag and Intermediate football to look forward to in 2018, all those involved with the Senior outfit should be pleased and proud with what they have already achieved. The target at the start of the year was promotion and this was gained in a fashion many didn’t expect – an unbeaten run of 14 games with 2 games to spare! After many years of disappointment since being relegated in 2005, all the Senior team set-ups since then have worked hard to get the Club back to this higher level. It has finally been achieved and whilst a Championship title, (nevermind a Championship Final appearance!) would have been the icing on the cake, the players and their backroom team can take plenty of satisfaction of what they have managed to do this year.

Finally a word of thanks to all our supporters and sponsors who have helped the Senior team this year. Your backing was greatly appreciated and we hope to see you all back in 2018!

Owen Roe’s: Ryan Mc Shane (0-01 from a 45), Conor Donaghey, Stephen Kelly, Gerard Devine, Sean Dooher, Brendan Boggs (captain), Conall Mc Cormack, Tony Devine, Ryan Devine Mór, Ryan Mc Aleer (0-01), Michael Dooher, Seamus Dooher (0-03), Ronan Mc Nulty, Cathal Mc Shane (1-04, 0-04 from frees), Gerard Mc Shane (0-01).

Subs used: Stephen Harper for Gerard Mc Shane, Sean Mc Bride for Conor Donaghey