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Aghyaran Agony Dungannon Delight

Sunday 25.11.2018
Team Talk Mag
All County League


 

Dungannon Clarkes are back in senior football but they were made to fight all the way by an Aghyaran side that really emptied the tank in Sunday’s Division One/Two promotion relegation playoff.

The two sides were inseparable last weekend at Killyclogher and so it proved once again as it took extra time before the Clarkes edged it on a 1-15 to 0-16 score line.

Played on a superb surface in front of a large crowd Aghyaran looked the more impressive side early on. With Ronan Mc Namee and Paddy Mc Nulty leading the charge for the border men they moved two points ahead following points from Sean Byrne and Mc Nulty. Dungannon responded to the challenge well with scores from Conor Mc Kee, Naoise Martin and Matthew Walsh to hit the front.

With Ronan Mc Namee controlling the midfield Aghyaran dominated the closing ten minutes of the first half. The county man hit two super points before converted frees from Sean Byrne and Benny Gallen sent the North Tyrone side in at the break leading 0-7 to 0-4.

A free from Conor Mc Kee split scores from Malachy Martin and Benny Gallen to leave four points between the sides midway through the second half as Aghyaran’s senior experience began to tell. However a timely toe poke from Clarkes centre back Ciaran Barker prevented Aghyaran from extending their lead and set Dungannon on the attack. Patrick Molloy got on the end of the move to finish to the net and suddenly the momentum was with the Clarkes.

A brace of points from substitute Tiernan Morgan put Dungannon ahead before Paddy Mc Nulty restored parity. In an exciting end to the half Conor Mc Kee and Ronan Mc Namee swapped scores before a fine Paddy Quinn point appeared to win it for Dungannon deep in added time. Once again However Aghyaran showed tremendous resolve to fight back and level it with the last kick of the game.

Two ten minute periods of extra time followed and both teams emptied the bench as fatigue and cramp took their toll. Patrick Quinn, Paidi Mc Nulty and Conor Mc Kee landed points for Dungannon while Paddy Mc Nulty and Benny Gallen replied for Aghyaran. The teams reached the break with one point separating them and Dungannon extended that lead to three with points from Mc Kee and Quinn shortly after the restart.

Once again Benny Gallen’s accuracy from the placed ball narrowed the gap but the Clarkes were not to be denied and a fine score from Mc Nulty after a lung bursting run settled the Dungannon nerves. Aghyaran had one final chance right at the death but needing a goal Benny Gallen’s shot was turned over the bar and Dungannon celebrated a hard fought victory and a place in senior club football for 2019.

Final score: Dungannon Clarkes 1-15, Aghyaran St Davog’s 0-16.

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