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Strabane Do Just Enough To Retain Intermediate Status For 2011.
Strabane Sigersons retained their Intermediate football status for 2011 after emerging victorious in a nail biting and exciting game at Castlederg on Sunday afternoon. The match was taken to extra time as a free deep into injury time by John Mc Laughlin salvaged a draw for his side after they had missed three one on one chances with the Drumquin goalkeeper and second half sub Enda Gormley.
It was not a high scoring game but what it lacked in scores it made up for in intensity and commitment as both sides went for it from the start. Strabane led early on when Micky Logue scored a disputed goal from close range.
Even though the game was tight Strabane looked to be in pole position as their forwards looked the more menacing. All that was changed however when Nicky Mc Callion goaled to put Drumquin ahead with the second half only four minutes old. It was a lead they managed to hold onto until Mc Laughlin’s free brought the sides level with time almost up.
That score took the game to extra time and once again it was nip and tuck with little separating the sides. Tensions were running high and although there were one or two fractious moments referee Cathal O’Hagan ensured both teams finished fifteen aside with sensible officiating throughout.
Strabane created the better chances throughout extra time but in spite of the best efforts of Liam Patterson, Barry Gormley and Nicky Mc Callion, Drumquin just could not manage to get level. They did narrow the gap to a point with three minutes of extra time left. However Strabane corner forward John Mc Laughlin, whose equalising free brought the game to extra time, was his side’s hero once again with a goal and a point in the last two minutes of the game.
It was tough on Drumquin who had performed heroically at times over the eighty minutes. A classic case of so near and yet so far. The Wolfe Tones had been thirty seconds away from victory in normal time but the extra time defeat means they remain in Junior football for next year. Gerard Poyntz and his players looked devastated as they trooped off the Castlederg pitch knowing they must start from scratch in January as they attempt to make it to Intermediate football.
A special word of thanks and congratulations to Castlederg club for their handling of the game on Sunday as all went off without a hitch. Their pitch and facilities were in superb shape for today’s game in spite it being late November and they deserve great credit for that.