Saturday, 16 February 2019 at 03:18 PM Galvin Early
It proved to be a disappointing outing to Killyclogher today for the Owen Roe’s U-16 team who travelled to play Drumragh in the Grade 3 League Final. Both teams met twice in the League, with the Leckpatrick side being edged out by a point in the first encounter in Glenmornan but then turning the tables in Drumragh by double scores. The 2 sides also met in the Championship, but it took extra time to separate them, with Roe’s winning by a goal on that occasion.
This latest encounter started well for the Roe’s who took a whirlwind lead with 2 early points by Ryan Devine and Conal Mc Cormack, extended further by a goal, also from Devine. Drumragh however, were not going let the Roe’s off the hook and gain the upper hand and soon replied with a goal of their own from the boot of captain, Shane Devine. Owen Roe’s pinned on another 2 points, one from a free by Devine and another from play by Niall Mc Aleer, before Sarsfield’s responded with point from corner forward, Aaron Montgomery.
Rory Donaghey pointed for the Roe’s but Drumragh were now getting into the stride of the game, and, but for a brave save from the Roe’s keeper, Ronan Coyle, they would have closed the gap further.
A free awarded for a foul in the Roe’s defence resulted in Drumragh’s number 11, Darragh O’Kane, pointing. Drumragh counter attacked again, and again had their eye on goal but 2 good successive blocks from the Roe’s defence denied them a goal. A point from Aaron Mc Gonagle on 22 minutes and another pointed free from Shane Devine for Drumragh left it 1-06 to 1-03, a slender lead considering Owen Roe’s were playing with a strong breeze at their backs.
Montgomery again pointed for Drumragh but the Roe’s lads responded well with a nice ball falling to Conal Mc Cormack who bore down on goal from the left only to see his shot go to the far right and wide of the goal mouth.
Just before the first half drew to a close, the Roe’s won a free, taken quickly by Ryan Devine who had seen the loose Conn Tinney, who pointed, leaving the half time score at Owen Roe’s 1-07 to 1-04.
Drumragh, however, came out of the changing rooms from the break the more determined side, turning over their half time 3 point deficit to 1 point lead within minutes of the throw-in, with scores coming from O’Kane, 2 frees from Shane Devine and another from Ciaran Donaghey.
Owen Roe’s found themselves momentarily a man down with Conal Mc Cormack black carded, being replaced by Adam Mc Elwee, and, in this time, a point from a 13 metre free, again from O’Kane, gave Drumragh some breathing space. Sixteen minutes of the second half had now elapsed and Owen Roe’s were still looking for their first score. Again it was to be Ryan Devine to take the free and the point for the Roe’s.
Another free awarded shortly after could maybe have helped narrow the gap but the free was cancelled and the resulting hop ball was won by Drumragh who made the most of it, racing upfield and picking out their number 13, Aaron Montgomery, who easily dispatched it to the Roe’s net. The Roe’s heads seemed to drop and this was further compounded by a pointed free from Shane Devine.
Drumragh were also now starting to win kickouts and sending the ball back in quickly to their attack, with Rory Lynch picking up his first point of the day from one of these wins. The Roe’s lads still put some pressure on the Sarsfield’s, and, when a loose ball fell at the feet of Con Tinney, he saw the opportunity to have a go first time from 30 yards out but his effort went wide.
With 7 minutes left, Oisin Dooher, who was unable to start, came on for Peter O’Flaherty, who managed to lineout after recovering somewhat from his recent injury. The Roe’s won a free and with time ticking away, Ryan Devine opted to take a chance and drove for goal, only for it to be blocked and cleared. Roe’s midfielder, Rory Boylan, pulled a point back for the Roe’s but with Lynch adding on 2 more points for Drumragh, 1 from a free, the Roe’s chances for a first U-16 League title had again slipped away.
Final score: Owen Roe’s 1-09 Drumragh 2-13
However, the lads have no time to dwell on this defeat as they also have a Championship final to look forward to and can use this loss to focus themselves on winning that. They can take heart from their performance today, a day when a few small things didn’t go quite right for them, and learn and build from the experience.
Owen Roe’s: Ronan Coyle, Jamie Mc Gale, Eoghain Devine, Peter O’Flaherty, Conal Mc Cormack (0-01), Damien Mc Crossan, Ryan Devine (capt) (1-03), Rory Boylan (0-01), Conn Tinney (0-01), Niall Mc Aleer (0-01), Aaron Mc Gonagle (0-01), Jamie Conway, Rory Donaghey (0-01). Subs: Shane Kelly, Pearse Devine, Adam Mc Elwee (for Conal Mc Cormack), Oisin Dooher (for Peter O’Flaherty), Sean Kelly.