Sunday, 21 July 2019 at 04:21 AM Galvin Early
The reserve footballers of Newtownstewart and Owen Roes served him up a Championship cracker on Friday evening in the opening round of the 2009 Reserve Junior Championship. After 80 plus minutes it was the home side that edged home by the narrowest of margins. And those odd minutes would be significant.
Newtown took an early lead in the contest, but it looked like it was going to be a cruise for Owen Roes as they were the ones to take an early grasp of the game. Mark Kelly knocked over a tricky free, before Andy Devine and Kelly again added to the lead.
With 13 minutes gone, Owen Roes got their first goal. Conor McCay's deft flick allowed Paul Devine in on goal, and his finish was neatly dispatched. John Harper, and another Kelly free made the gap seven with 21 minutes elapsed.
Newtown's free taking give them their second score, but Paul Devine cancelled the score out almost immediately. As the half ended a poor Owen Roes clearance was punished with a third Newtown white flag.
Half Time: Newtownstewart 0-3 Owen Roes 1-6
If Owen Roes dominated the scoring stakes in the first half, the St.Eugene's certainly bossed the second period. By the 18th minute of the half the home side had rattled off six answered points to level the tie.
However it could've been so much different, as in the space of 60 seconds Paul Devine lashed a gilt edge chance wide of the home goals, and Andy Devine slammed an effort off the base of the post. Nonetheless the home also had a goal chance, but their fisted effort also met the woodwork.
In between all this Newtownstewart were slowly eroding the Leckpatrick lead, and when their corner forward knocked over a 51st minute free they nosed in front.
Back came Owen Roes and Andy Devine's placed kick restored parity again. With time almost up the home side broke, shot, and pointed and looked to be home. However there was to be another twist, as the O'Neills won a free in a tricky position deep in stoppage time. Andy Devine was the man in the hot seat, and he coolly split the posts to end the sixty minutes.
Full Time: Newtownstewart 0-11 Owen Roes 1-8
Paul Devine's point commenced the first period of extra time, and smart thinking by John Harper freed Sean og Devine to make the lead two. With six minutes gone, Owen Roes were to slam their second major. Conor McCay's ball in was met by a typical Mickey Dooher fist, and the ball was sent past the static Newtown net minder. The home side surely looked buried at this stage.
However back came the hosts, as they closed the half out with two points to leave a goal in it.
Extra Time Half Time: Newtownstewart 0-13 Owen Roes 2-10
With three minutes of the second half gone, the home side were given a lifeline as they were awarded a spot kick which was duly dispatched. At this stage the game was fractious, and keenly contested, and both sets of fans keenly shouting their corner.
As the time clicked to ten minutes, the hosts took the lead once more. However Owen Roes were the side to bounce back at this stage. Two minutes into added time, and with the home officials, players, and fans calling for the whistle, the O'Neills broke and won another tricky dead ball. Devine again showed he was the man for the pressure kick and calmly slipped the ball over the black spot.
With all eyes and ears expecting the shrill of the full time whistle, the game continued. With the ball being keenly contested around mid sector chances and clean ball were at a premium, and scoring chances devoid. However with six minutes of stoppage time in the second period elapsed, Newtown found the space and time to split the Owen Roes back line and put one between them once again. This time there was to be no comeback, as the ref ended the game, and it was Newtown's patience and bravery that yielded the result, and Owen Roes contemplating how they threw the contest away.
Team: Damian Crawford, Paul Kelly, Brian Kelly, Stephen McCauley, Eamon McBride, Cathal Dooher, Willie Doherty, Stephen Kelly, Clarke Stephenson, Ryan Logue, Mark Kelly (0-3), John Harper (0-1), Andy Devine (0-4), Conor McCay, Paul Devine (1-2). Subs: Rory Devine for Willie Doherty (44 mins), Aaron Doherty for Stephen Kelly (46 mins), Sean og Devine (0-1) for Logue (49 mins), Mickey Dooher (1-0) for Mark Kelly (51 mins), Mark Kelly for McBride (58 mins). Ryan Logue for Paul Devine (70 mins), Tam O'Nei