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Injury Time Blitz Secures Title for Donaghmore
Tyrone Grade 1 MFC Final
Donaghmore 1-15 Eglish 2-7
The scoreline doesn’t really reflect the reality of a titanic battle played out in Fintona tonight but nonetheless Donaghmore St Patrick’s got the scores when they were needed the most to secure the Grade 1 Minor Football Championship for 2022. The reality was they struggled to assert themselves on an Eglish side that shut down many of the Donaghmore attacks after the break and as the clock ticked into the 60th minute the eventual winners trailed by a point.
Donaghmore opened the scoring inside 19 seconds through a James McCann point from play and by the 12th minute they led 0-5 to 0-1 with further scores from Aodhan Molloy (0-2), Noah Grimes and Cormac Drayne. Eglish converted only one score during that time. A Ryan Donnelly free in the 3rd minute. Both sides shared the next four points. Nathan Horsfield and Ryan Donnelly converting a second free for Eglish and Ronan Molloy slotting two points for Donaghmore, the second from a mark.
Eglish trailed by four points with six minutes left in the half but their next score brought them right back into the contest. Lorcan Hegarty finding the net for the Eglish lads. John McKenna was black carded by referee Paul Gallagher following a player block in the move leading up to the goal and his loss for ten minutes was keenly felt by the Donaghmore men. A third Ryan Donnelly free in the 29th minute levelled the sides for the first time but Noah Grimes popped up to slot another free in the 31st minute to give Donaghmore the lead at the break. Half Time – Donaghmore 0-8 Eglish 1-4.
The opening six minutes of the second half failed to produce a score and it took a 37th minute goal from Eglish man Cormac Toye to break the deadlock. A Ronan Bradley point a minute later eased the Eglish men into a well deserved three point lead. Donaghmore were on the rack but they responded well with two points of their own. First Ronan Molloy thumped over his third point of the evening followed by a third point from Noah Grimes. Grimes came close to recording another point a minute later in the 44th minute but his shot went wide to record Donaghmore’s first wide of the contest.
An Eoin Donnelly point from play for Eglish in the 48th minute opened the gap to two again. In the 53rd minute Donaghmore recorded the 11th point of the game through John McKenna. Ross Daly sprang forward from wing half back to restore the Eglish lead to two points in the 54th minute and that would prove to be their last score of the game.
With just four minutes to go Donaghmore corner back fired over to reduce the lead to one and as the stopwatch ticked towards the 60th minute it looked like Eglish might just edge the contest. Donaghmore however had other ideas. A long ball forward found Noah Grimes in space and he made no mistake slamming the ball to the Eglish net. It was then left to Ronan Molloy to ram home the advantage with three points from play in the 63rd and 66th minutes. A ruthless conclusion to the game for the Donaghmore men and a cruel end for a gallant Eglish side.
Referee – Paul Gallagher (Castlederg)