Monday, 19 March 2018 at 07:56 AM Galvin Early
Neighbours Strabane and Owen Roes served up a feast of a contest in the Tyrone grade 4 ladies minor Championship final on Monday evening in Aghyaran with nothing separating the sides at the end. The game was end to end from start to finish with Owen Roes pulling clear in the closing embers, before being reeled in by Strabane to take the game to a replay.
Strabane had an early chance for a goal in this game, but were denied by a smart Naomh Barr save. The games opening score went to the Sigersons before on 8 minutes, following good work by Racheda Kelly, Emer McAleer ran in to point.
Wing forward Ciara McNulty gave Owen Roes ladies the lead a short time after, but as the contest ebbed and flowed in was the Sigersons who restored parity once again. McAleer was sent tumbling which allowed Chloe Devine the chance to convert a placed score as the crowd remained on the edge of their seats.
The Leckpatrick midfield was doing a lot of work to give their side a platform early on with Racheda Kelly and Chloe Devine to the fore. However a plethora of wides allowed Strabane to stay in touch. Indeed the O'Neills could've hit the net in that period but McNultys well struck drive hit the post.
A well worked turnover by Owen Roes resulted in Laura Devine stretching the Owen Roes lead, but Strabane were keen to stay in touch and two scores in succession allowed parity to be restored as the girls entered the dressing rooms at half-time.
Both sides hit the woodwork again in the second half as they both attempted to put a strangle hold on the game. Nonetheless it was the Owen Roes ladies who took the initiative.
Chloe Devine converted a free, while at the other end Strabane were thwarted thanks to good defending by Gemma Coyle. Owen Roes midfielder Racheda Kelly stormed through to open up a gap in the scoreline with 15 minutes remaining as this game bubbled along.
Caoimhe Barr who had been busy since her introduction, added to the Owen Roes lead as her placed ball sailed over as her side started to sense victory.
Nonetheless there was still 5 minutes remaining, and as Owen Roes dropped deep, Strabane came forward. A free and a score from play took them within striking distance, and just into added time they won another free which sailed over the bar to level the game.
Credit to both sides who put on an excellent hour of football in front of a good crowd. Both sides will note plenty of opportunities for improvement, and can take credit for many positive elements of their game.
This one will have to go again!
Team: Naomh Barr, Tara Donaghey, Gemma Coyle, Caoimhe O’Neill, Courtney Devine, Mairead Devine, Alex Kelly, Racheda Kelly (0-1), Chloe Devine (0-2), Ciara Mc Nulty (0-1), Laura Devine (0-1), Emer Mc Aleer (0-1), Kelsey Mc Nulty, Amy Rose Harte, Chloe McCafferty. Subs: Niamh Christy for Ciara McNulty, Shauna Gallagher, Caoimhe Barr (0-1) for McCafferty, Shakyira Kelly, Grian Ní Dhaimhín, Chantelle Mc Nulty, Darragh Brady