Wednesday, 17 January 2018 at 01:58 AM Galvin Early
Owen Roes' U14s are the 2014 Tyrone Grade 4 league Champions following an excellent second half display against Brockagh in Drumragh on Saturday past. Gerard Kelly's charges were four points down as the teams went into the break but came out in the second half to restrict Brockagh to just three points in a superbly organised performance.
Niall McAleer had the shooting boots on and he conjured the first of his eight points with 5 minutes gone with a well taken score. The Emmets hit back straight away with two scores to take a lead before McAleer's placed kick tied things up again. At the other end the East Tyrone side almost landed a green flag but Joseph Melarkey got his angles right to block down the drive.
Brockagh retook the lead with a fisted effort before Owen Roes came close to a major. Jack Kelly and Oran Roddy did the spade work that sent Jordan McFadden away. McFadden wriggled past two tackles but his well struck shot hit the bar before being cleared.
Oisin Dooher knocked over an Owen Roes free but at the other end Brockagh took the initiative when Dean Cavanagh shot low past Melarkey in goals. McAleer from a free and Cavanagh from play exchanged scores with Brockagh chalking up another score in injury time to take a 1-5 to 0-4 lead into the dressing room.
It was felt that the opening salvos of the second half would be critical. However when the big question was asked it was the Owen Roes youngsters who stood up to the test. Jack Kelly's good play saw the rampaging Peter O'Flaherty bomb forward to confidently score to get the Leckpatrick scoreboard to within a goal of Brockagh. A minute later and that goal came.
Oisin Dooher saw his drive come back off the cross bar, and with his first touch after coming off the bench Adam McColgan was first to react to stroke the ball to the goal.
Defenses were very much on top for the next ten minutes before the excellent Damien McCrossan showed great determination to burst forward into the Brockagh half where McAleer pointed to give his side the lead.
Nonetheless the East Tyrone side were still in this game and a well taken score restored parity before they nosed in front with a dead ball from a tricky angle.
Two frees from Dooher and McAleer allowed Owen Roes to slide in front again with 7 minutes remaining but the sides were soon level- for the 8th occasion- as the Emmets swarmed forward to score.
On this occasion though parity was to be short and crucially final. Oran Kelly and Pearce Devine were belligerent in the second half in front of the Owen Roes goal, and when those two combined to turn over the ball, it was fed through to McAleer via McCrossan who made no mistake.
With minutes remaining Oran Roddy did well to gather possession laying the ball off to the industrious Oisin Devine who was tumbled to the ground with McAleer notching the free.
Gaps started to appear at the back as Brockagh searched for a score to get back into the game. In injury time an Owen Roes break saw Dooher blocked off when in on goal, which allowed McAleer to take his time to complete an excellent day from free kicks, and give Owen Roes the 2014 Grade 4 trophy.
This was an excellent game of football with very little separating the sides over the duration of the game. Dooher and McAleer's 8 points will take many of the headlines, but this Owen Roes performance was built on a solid, hard working defensive showing that were the building blocks of many of Owen Roes' attacks, yielding them the spoils.
Team: Joseph Melarkey, Oran Kelly, Pearce Devine, Oisin Dooher (0-2), Peter O'Flaherty (0-1), Damien McCrossan, Oisin Devine, Oran Roddy, Jack Kelly, Niall McAleer (0-8), Jordan McFadden. Subs: Adam McColgan for McFadden (Half Time).