Tuesday, 15 January 2019 at 05:56 PM Joe Hegarty
Owen Roe's made the long trip to Eglish on Saturday past aiming to claiming a crucial two points in their efforts to make the promotion play offs. However the away side’s journey proved fruitless as Eglish, who collected the 2018 Intermediate League title on the day, had just about enough in their locker to take both points.
The Leckpatrick side shook off any travel tardiness with a sharp start. Youngster Niall McAleer was rewarded for his impressive Championship cameos with a first Senior start and it was he who struck first. Cathal McShane worked the ball from corner field for a great score on the spin from distance from McAleer.
The away side could’ve tagged on a major when Ronan McNulty reacted sharpest to a shot off the post but the Eglish keeper made a good stop. Nonetheless a routine free from McShane doubled the lead.
McNulty did make the lead three as the O’Neills did all the running in the opening quarter. Things could’ve been even better for the visitors as they were awarded a penalty after McShane was tugged back, however the Tyrone man saw his penalty saved. A resulting free from the clearance was sent over the bar by the same man by way of some reward.
Owen Roe's were hunting in packs throughout the field and Ryan McAleer did well to turn over the ball on 20 minutes with Tony Devine bombing the ball over from distance.
Despite all the Owen Roe's efforts the hosts pulled themselves back into the contest in an efficient manner as Seamus Muldoon took advantage of hesitancy at the back to put the ball past Andy Devine in the Owen Roe's net. Eglish tagged on a well struck score via their centre half back seconds later.
The home side had their tails up and two further points late in the half sent them into the wee whistle a point to the good.
If the north Tyrone side started the first half well, they started the second half even better. Cathal McShane wriggled in from the end line and teed up Niall McAleer who climbed highest to punch to the net.
Eglish responded with an Emmet McKenna score from play and within 60 seconds the St Patrick's added another to level up.
The hosts were starting to show their quality as they started to get to grips with the contest and a placed ball nosed them in front with a driving run from McShane chalking that off straight away.
Nonetheless a devastating 90 second spell around the 45 minute marker deflated the Owen Roe's charge. The hosts knocked over from play and straight from kick out they attacked again with Emmet McKenna fisting to the net. Seconds later and McKenna found range once more.
With Owen Roe's on the ropes Eglish tagged on two more scores to make the lead comfortable. Nonetheless the O’Neill's were not keen on rolling over. Sub Conor O Neill cut in from end line to score with Niall McAleer lacing over as well.
The away side pushed forward to try and force the issue which saw Stephen Kelly turn over the ball in Eglish territory, Stephen Harper put the ball across the goal with Conor O’Neill palming the ball to the rigging.
However, in added time with Owen Roe's pushing forward, gaps opened further down the field and Eglish tapped over an insurance score to leave them three to the good when Sean Hurson’s final whistle went.
Owen Roe's: Andy Devine, Gerard Devine, Stephen Kelly, Aidan Christy, Sean Dooher, Ryan McAleer, Gerard McShane, Tony Devine (0-1), Seamus Dooher, Brendan Boggs, Cathal McShane (0-3), Stephen Harper, Ronan McNulty (0-1), Niall McAleer (1-2), Ryan McShane.
Subs: Conor O’Neill (1-1) for Ryan McShane (43 mins), Oisin Dooher for Ronan McNulty (43 mins), Conall McCormick for Tony Devine (45 mins).