In the ultimate game of two halves Omagh CBS led by 11 points at half time on a scoreline of 2-08 to 0-3, before holding off a late fightback from St Mary’s to win on a final scoreline of 2-09 to 2-07.
Omagh played with the aid of a strong breeze in the first half and their opening score came in the 5th minute after a strong run and shot by midfielder Paudi Goodman. St Mary’s defence was proving hard to break down, but Omagh scored two more points from Peter Colton and a fine run and score by the hard-working Michael Mc Namee by the 10-minute mark. St Mary’s were finding it hard to move the ball up the pitch but opened their account from a free on the 12th minute.
St Mary’s pressed up on Omagh and made it difficult for them to work the ball up the pitch despite the fact they were playing with the breeze. Kevin Mc Anulla and Cathal Farley were made to work hard to get the ball out of their own defence. A fine team move allowed Harley Patton to score a goal to put a bit of daylight between the teams. St Mary’s kept their score board ticking over with a second point from a free kick before Omagh hit a purple patch and scored 1-4 without reply. Diarmaid Martin weighed in with 1-2, his second point coming from an acute angle as he cut in off the side-line. Kevin Mc Anulla finished off Omagh’s scoring in the first half with a well worked point from distance on the 30th minute. St Mary’s had time to work the ball up the pitch and win another free which they scored to leave the HT score 2-08 to 0-3.
The wind assisted St Mary’s started the second half well and had scored two points from distance inside the first 5 mins. Omagh defence got to grips with the strong running game that St Mary’s were now playing with and thwarted attack after attack with disciplined tackling, the exceptional Cathal Farley being central to several turnovers. Two further frees for St Mary’s narrowed the gap to 7 points but Omagh continued to defend resolutely. Peter Colton and Paudi Goodman came to the fore in the second half and started to dominate around the middle of the pitch, but just as St Mary’s had in the first half Omagh were finding scores hard to come by playing against the breeze. Peter Colton scored their only point of the second half from a free to stretch their lead back out to 8 points with 10 minutes left to play. Both defences were on top in the closing 10 minutes, but St Mary’s scored two late goals in the four minutes of injury time and the game finished with Omagh holding on to record a two-point victory.
In a 3-team group both Omagh and St Mary’s will now play St Pat’s Maghera, to decide who progresses to the later stages of the competition.