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Omagh Hang On For Narrow Win

Monday 27.08.2012
Team Talk Mag
Club


Omagh defeated Clonoe on Sunday evening after a pulsating game of championship football where no quarter was asked or given. It was old fashioned do or die stuff with both sides straining every muscle in an attempt to make it through to the quarter finals.
Just like the drawn game it was Clonoe who made the better start but this time Omagh managed to restrict their early lead to four points. Last week Omagh failed to score for the first seventeen minutes, this week it took them eighteen. It was real nip and tuck stuff as Clonoe gained early possession and advantage through a well worked kick out strategy but once Omagh re-organised their man to man marking duties that changed considerably. This allowed St Endas to gain a major foothold in the middle third of the field and by half time they were very much in the game losing 0-5 to 0-3.
The start of the second half was frenetic and for the first five or so minutes Omagh resembled a boxer on the ropes as they rode their luck. Clonoe peppered the Omagh rearguard and could have had two or three goals from really good chances. Such was their dominance at this stage that the O’Rahillys looked odds on to win. However as they had done in the first half Omagh steadied the ship with Conan Grugan producing a master class at midfield while Hugh Gallagher and Barry Tierney turned defence into attack at every opportunity.
Liam Grugan made several timely substitutions which helped swing the game in their favour. Clonoe were now playing catch up as Omagh hit the front but credit to the men in white they continued to battle and led by Emmett Teague and Stephen Mc Nulty they hauled themselves back into the game. Corner forward Conor Mc Aliskey was narrowly wide with a couple of long distance free kicks and one got the impression that Omagh seemed destined to win.
Six minutes of additional time became nine and in the added extra time Clonoe “won” a free kick twenty metres out from the Omagh goal. With a single point separating the sides the game seemed destined for a draw and extra time. However the decision to award the free kick resulted in several minutes of mayhem that saw three players sent off and the free kick decision overturned resulting in a throw up ball which Omagh won. The St Endas lads survived to win narrowly and now go forward to face Errigal Ciaran in the quarter finals. On current form and with their confidence high after two fine championship games, they will fancy their chances of defeating Ronan Mc Guckin’s team.
The downside from Sunday’s game, which enthralled and entertained the large crowd, will be that Omagh will go into the semi final minus the services of Joe Mc Mahon and Conor Starrs who both received red cards in the incident just before the end of the game.

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