Saturday, 18 May 2019 at 12:05 AM Joe Hegarty
Loughmacrory and Owen Roe’s went toe to toe in day one of the 2019 ACL Senior season on Sunday past with the home side edging out the visitors in a game that had plenty of scores. The hosts held dominate for large swathes of the afternoon but the north Tyrone outfit kept battling away and almost staged a very unlikely smash and grab.
Scoring was brisk and Seamus Dooher took possession of a short free to pop over early on with the St Teresa’s replying via Cathair Gallagher. The hosts were efficient in front of the sticks early on and nosed ahead with a free from Gallagher, two further efforts from open play and Pauric Meenagh’s dead ball ensuring that Owen Roe’s would find themselves 0-5 to 0-1 in arrears with 10 minutes on the watch.
Conor O’Neill’s placed kicking would keep Owen Roe’s in touch as he pointed twice in a few minutes, the second free earned following good work by Dooher, Tony Devine and Conall Mc Cormick.
Nonetheless Loughmacrory were sharper throughout the field and they stamped back control as Gallagher fisted the ball to the net.
Devine earned his side another free with six minutes of the half remaining which O’Neill converted with Gallagher blazing a great chance over the bar at the other end straight from the restart.
The hosts almost had a second major but Andy Devine’s stunning saved resulted in just a point for the home team.
Loughmacrory were in cruise control at this juncture but the Leckpatrick outfit showed heart to work their way back into contention in the closing minutes of the half.
Cathal McShane was upended close to goal with O’Neill sending the free over and despite the opposition’s centre half back coming forward and cancelling that out, the away side would end with a major.
McShane won the ball close to goal and as he spun for the net was hauled to the ground for a placed kick which he duly dispatched to the rigging.
Half Time: Loughmacory 1-08 Owen Roe’s 1-05
Within touching distance, Owen Roe’s emerged from the changing rooms keen to settle quickly. However it was the hosts who wrestled back control. A goal bound shot blocked down by Stephen Kelly, squirting over the bar. A minute later and Loughmacrory grabbed their second goal. An initial shot hit the post with Shane Dobbs tapping in the rebound.
Owen Roe’s replied via an O’Neill 45 but a tasty Loughmacrory shot from the angle and 0-2 from Gallagher moved the hosts into a comfortable 10 point lead with a quarter hour to go.
The north Tyrone side may not have brought their most fluid performance to the contest but they did bring their heart and in an astonishing five minute spell turned the game around.
Firstly Damian Mc Crossan and Niall Mc Aleer combined to earn a free which Mc Shane scored. Straight from the kick out O’Neill caressed over a wonderful score from the right.
At the restart O’Neill won the ball once more and he lofted it to Mc Aleer who smashed it home and in a carbon copy goal seconds later, Cathal Mc Shane did well to win the ball, he worked it to O’Neill who once more combined with Mc Aleer with the Roe’s youngster finding the net for the second time!
Roe’s were first to everything at this stage and Ryan McShane did the spade work for the next score. Substitute Damian Mc Crossan received the ball tight on the sideline and after surveying his options he showed confidence by sending a clinking score between the sticks to make it a one point game.
The Leckpatrick lads had several opportunities to level up as a few chances drifted the wrong side of the posts. At the other end Loughmacrory broke and twice Meenagh converted frees to put a major in it.
Owen Roe’s battled to work a levelling goal but bar Ronan Mc Nulty’s late half volley that raised a white flag they were unable to find range to miss out by a couple.
Roe’s: Andy Devine, Peter O’Flaherty, Stephen Kelly, Gerard Devine, Ryan
‘Ricki’ Devine, Gerard Mc Shane, Conall Mc Cormick, Tony Devine, Seamus Dooher
(0-1), Conor O’Neill (0-6), Cathal Mc Shane (1-1), Mark O’Neill, Niall Mc Aleer
(2-0), Ronan McNulty (0-1), Ryan Mc Shane. Subs: Damian Mc Crossan (0-1) for
Mark O Neill (45 mins), Eamon Mc Bride for Ricki Devine (56 mins), Sean Dooher
for Ryan Mc Shane (60 mins)