Omagh CBS are still on course to make it back to back Mac Rory Cup titles but only after they were pushed to the limit by a very talented St Mary’s Magherafelt who produced a superb second half comeback and almost snatched a draw right at the death.
The reigning champions began well with a Liam Og Mossey goal six minutes in after a mix up in the Magherafelt defence. That goal helped settle the Omagh side and in spite of playing into a strong breeze they were the better team in the first half and deservedly reached the break leading 2-4 to 0-5. Their second goal was a superb finish from wingback Mark Corcoran and proved to be a hugely important score in the context of the game.
Magherafelt were stung by the concession of such an early goal but points from Charlie Mulholland and Conal Higgins helped to get them back in the game. Paudi Dillon took and converted a fine mark before Charlie Donnelly ghosted through to knock over an excellent point to put Omagh 1-2 to 0-2 ahead.
Magherafelt were beginning to enjoy more possession around the middle of the park but found the Omagh defence, superbly led by Callum Daly and Brian Gallagher, in uncompromising mood. James Sargent pointed but his team were knocked back almost immediately when Mark Corcoran fired to the net with the aplomb of a natural finisher. Both teams added a further two points apiece with Ruairi Mc Cullagh and Eoin Donaghy on target for Omagh while Luke Grant and Patrick Birt responded for the Derry lads.
Half time score: Omagh CBS 2-4, St Mary’s Magherafelt 0-5
The second half began with Magherafelt very much on top and Omagh struggling to cope with their driving runs from the back and their quick transfer of the ball. Eamon Young was superb as time after time he simply slalomed through the Omagh defence creating mayhem for Omagh and numerous chances for his teammates.
A Conal Higgins free was followed by a brace of Young points as Magherafelt took control of the game and Omagh looked to be in bother. Points from Paudi Dillon and Eoin Donaghey steadied the ship for the Tyrone school before a converted forty five from James Sargent with fourteen minutes left saw the gap down to three as Omagh battled hard to maintain their lead.
Liam Óg Mossey landed a fine score to give his team breathing space but it was Magherafelt who had the momentum. Omagh spurned a late goal chance when goalkeeper Karla Campbell made a brilliant save from Mattie Howe. Magherafelt capitalised on that escape adding a brace of Eamon Young points to leave two in it as the game entered added time. Substitute Michael Higgins fired over to make it a one point contest which looked certain to end in a draw when Charlie Curley shot for a score with the clock counting down. Unfortunately for the young Lavey man the ball sailed wide and referee Martin Mc Nally blew the full time whistle to end a pulsating contest on a final score of Omagh CBS 2-7, St Mary’s Magherafelt 0-12.