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Second Half Display Secures Junior Title For Kildress

Sunday 04.10.2020
Team Talk Mag
Championship Football

Kildress claimed the LCC Tyrone Junior title on Sunday after coming from four points down at half time to defeat Drumragh 3-9 to 1-8. The seven point margin of defeat does not do justice to the efforts of the Sarsfields players, particularly in the first half, but overall Kildress were deserving winners. Played on a very slippery pitch this was quite a battle between two very committed teams to which referee Cathal Forbes contributed hugely.

Drumragh lost centre back Patrick Colgan before the throw in and almost conceded a goal in their opponent’s first attack. A marauding run by Eoin Brannigan seemed destined to end up in the net only for Drumragh goalkeeper James Colgan to pull off the first of several excellent saves.

Kildress opened their account with a superb point from Shea Murphy but Drumragh were well up for the contest and points from Tommy Mullin, Shane Cleary and Shane Devine put them two ahead. Conor Quinn and Philip Lennon replied for Kildress to tie the game after eighteen minutes but it was clear in the opening quarter of the game that Drumragh would scrap for every ball. They were dealt a further blow however with the withdrawal of midfielder Eamon Mc Cann due to injury.

The Sarsfields players work rate in the first half was manic as they fought for every ball forcing turnovers and missed chances from the Kildress attack in particular. They counter attacked at pace and the willingness of their defenders to push forward in support of the attack paid dividends on several occasions. Meanwhile at the back the presence of Gareth Haughey and his ability to read the game made sure Drumragh were not caught out when Kildress were on the front foot.

Sean Mc Gale scored a spectacular point before Shane Devine hit the net to leave his team four clear. Kildress captain Philip Lennon and Drumragh corner forward  Tommy Mullin swapped scores to send the teams off at the break with the Sarsfields looking well placed leading 1-5 to 0-4.

Kildress knew they needed to get a few early scores on the board to get themselves back in the game and within six minutes of the restart they were level. Scores from Philip Lennon (2) and Des Tracey not only tied the game but gave Kildress the confidence to push on. The veteran Tracey was involved in most of his team’s best moments as Drumragh struggled to cope with the more direct style of their opponents. The Sarsfields needed a score to settle them and team captain Shane Cleary duly obliged with a converted forty metre free.

With twelve minutes remaining a high ball into the Drumragh square was turned into the net off the hand of Shea Murphy to put Kildress two clear. Philip Lennon stretched the lead to three with a converted free and Drumragh could sense the game slipping away. They threw caution to the wind but left gaps at the back and Kildress added their second goal when Conor Quinn capitalised on the mayhem caused by another high ball into the Drumragh defence.

Drumragh managed to add two further points courtesy of Shane Cleary and Aaron Montgomery. It was goals they needed however to really get back into the game but the uncompromising Kildress defence was in no mood to offer up any of those.  With time almost up the Tones broke from defence, carried the ball the length of the pitch and won a penalty with the last kick of the game. The kick was converted by Philip Lennon to leave the final score 3-9 to 1-8 in favour of Kildress.




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