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Moortown deny Eglish in senior championship opener…
The Tyrone Senior Football Championship finally got underway this afternoon and it’s Moortown who are the first club through to the 2011 O’Neill Cup quarter finals after they came from behind to beat Eglish by the slenderest of margins, 1-10 to 0-12, in an exciting first round tussle at Edendork.
The St Malachy’s, back in the senior championship after a few years away, opened the scoring with two pointed frees courtesy of Philip Muldoon and Brian McLernon, before Eglish got themselves on level terms by the 12th minute following excellent scores from Ciaran Colton and Colleges All-Star Conal McNulty, who linked up superbly with veteran Conall Martin before splitting the posts.
Brian McLernon and Caolan Daly then exchanged points to leave the teams tied again on three points apiece, and that pattern continued as Martin Crozier and Ciaran Colton scored at opposite ends of the pitch to leave both teams on four points after 24 minutes of play.
A Brian McLernon conversion put Moortown ahead once more but it was Eglish, last year’s division two league champions, who finished the first half the stronger. Conall Martin flicked a high ball into the path of Ciaran Colton who extracted a great save out of Tony Quinn and from the ensuing ‘45’ the ball eventually made its way to Ryan McKenna who popped over Eglish’s equaliser.
Then, in the final moments of the half, Ciaran Colton rounded off a terrific individual first half performance by shooting Eglish into a slender 0-6 to 0-5 lead.
However, it was Moortown who raised their game impressively on the restart to carve out a three point advantage. Brian McLernon pointed a free in the first minute of the second half to tie things up once again before the most decisive moment of the game came when Eglish keeper Stephen Daly was adjudged to have performed a foot block on Martin Crozier’s shot. Up stepped Philip Muldoon to lash home the resultant penalty, leaving his side ahead by 1-6 to 0-6.
Eglish responded positively with points from Gregory Jordan and Conor McCann but Moortown regained the initiative again with efforts from Martin Crozier and McLernon, giving them a three point cushion, 1-8 to 0-8, approaching the end of the third quarter.
Eglish weren’t done with and two more points from Peter McCann and Brendan Donnelly narrowed gap to a point yet again and Eglish pressed strongly in pursuit of the levelling score. They couldn’t get it initially as Tyrone defender P J Quinn made a fantastic block to thwart Gregory Jordan, but Eglish regained possession and eventually with nine minutes to go Caolan Daly swung over an outstanding point from out on the wing to make it 0-11 to 1-8.
It was all to play for but, with five minutes remaining, Conor Herron entered the fray in place of Ronan Devlin and his contribution was massive as he immediately weighed in with two points in a row, including an excellent fisted score, leaving it 1-10 to 0-11.
Eglish tried valiantly and had several chances to retrieve the situation but they could only muster a Ryan McKenna point in the closing moments as Moortown deservedly held on to win by a single point, 1-10 to 0-12…