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Sperrin Og Create Their Own Piece Of History
All Ireland club titles do not come around too often unless you live in Crossmaglen so the achievement of Sperrin Og last Sunday is all the more noteworthy. The Greencastle based ladies team returned from Dublin on Sunday evening as champions after a nerve tingling hour’s football that saw them produce their best display of the year to lift the title.
In doing so they repeated the success of their men’s side who lifted the All Ireland back in 2007. Sunday’s win meant they not only became the first Tyrone team to lift this title but they also became the first Tyrone club to win both men’s and ladies titles.
They took with them a huge band of followers and although they looked a bit nervous early on they did settle well and had the boost of an early goal from youth star Niamh O’Neill whose bullet like shot almost split the nets. Aherlow had their own stars of course and corner forward Edel Hanley was in superb form landing 1-08 for her team. Thanks mainly to her the Tipperary girls reached the break leading by a point.
However Sperrin Og produced a second half of spirit, tenacity and commitment that typified their play all year. Team captain Margaret Gallagher and Eimear Teague were once again superb in defence as they kept Aherlow at bay for long periods. Laura Lee Mc Cullagh and Shauneen Ferrity worked their socks off in the middle of the field while up front Kim Mc Cullagh hit the key scores at vital times in the second half. Indeed with less than ten minutes remaining the Tyrone girls were six points ahead but it was at this stage that they showed their real character. Aherlow threw everything at them in search of scores but time after time a timely tackle or vital interception diverted the danger .
The four minutes of additional time seemed like a lifetime but when the final whistle blew it was the signal for a massive outpouring of joy and celebration as the realisation of what had been achieved sank in. It truly was a fantastic achievement and just reward for a club who continues to work exceptionally hard to promote Gaelic Games and Irish Culture. They have their annual Dinner Dance this coming Saturday night and pride of place will go to their Tyrone, Ulster and All Ireland Champions and boy do they deserve it.