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Ulster League Reports.
It was another busy weekend of Ulster League football for Tyrone sides with some entertaining games on view. Cookstown made the long journey to Longstone in County Down but with an experimental side but came up short against Jody Gormley’s team. The Fr. Rocks lost out 3-10 to 2-7 with their goals coming from Barry Potter and Niall Glackin. Paddy Kelly and Conor Mullen were among the point scorers for the Tyrone side but overall it was a disappointing showing from the light blues. The one positive note for Chris Lawn’s side was the news that ace forward Eoin Mulligan returned from his trip to Australia on Thursday last and will soon be back playing for his club.
Trillick, who defeated Cookstown last week, enjoyed a narrow two point win over Derry side Banagher on a score line of 0-14 to 2-6. Indeed it was Banagher who had the better start and led 1-2 to a point after five minutes. But Niall Gormley led the line well for Trillick and by half time the gap was two points with Eunan Mc Anespie, Shane and Eoin Gormley all on target for The Reds. Trillick dominated much of the second half and led 0-11 to 1-5 thanks to three great scores from Niall Gormley again and further scores from Eunan Mc Anespie and Shane Gormley. Banagher responded with their sixth point of the game but Mattie Donnelly, Shane Gormley and Sean Kelly added points to ensure a second win for Trillick. Next up for them is an away trip to Longstone who of course are managed by former Red’s favourite Jody Gormley.
Stewartstown had their second outing of the tournament and secured an entertaining draw against Foreglen at MUSA the game finishing 0-13 to 1-10. It had been a tight opening thirty minutes with both sides locked on 0-4 apiece when Foreglen struck for a goal right on the stroke of half time. The Harps showed tremendous tenacity to come back in the second half and almost snatched the win when an Anton Coyle effort struck the post in the last minute. Coyle top scored for his side with 0-6 while Paul Dillon 0-3 and Owen Coyle 0-2 were the other main contributors on the scoreboard. The only downside for the home side was a concussion injury suffered by full back Fergal O’Neill.
Donaghmore drew away to Clonduff on a scoreline of 0-10 apiece. The Down side had the better of the first half and led 0-7 to 0-3 at the break with Donaghmore’s scores coming from Niall Mc Caul (0-2) and Mark Faloon. The Down side continued to dominate and extended their lead to four points 0-9 to 0-5 but the Tyrone side showed great spirit to come back to draw the game with a last minute free from Shane Mulgrew. Donaghmore scores on the day Niall Mc Caul 0-5, Shane Mulgrew 0-2, Mark Faloon, Aidan Donaghy and Brian Robinson 0-1 each.
It was a case of so near but so far for Greencastle who lost their second Ulster League game today against Magherafelt. The South Derry side were very much on top in the first half and deservedly led eight points to four at half time. However the second half saw a totally different Greencastle as Sean Teague introduced John Mc Cullagh, Sean Warnock and Emmett Clarke. These three subs inspired the home side with Mc Cullagh in particular causing serious problems for the Magherafelt defence. Points from Mc Cullagh, Mark Carson and Shane Coyle closed the gap and when Mc Cullagh nipped in for a rebound goal it was game on. The home side had chances to steal it at the end and Danny Mc Dermott and Peter Teague both missed great chances for goals as the Hoops pressed for a win. Final score was Greencatle 1-7, Magherafelt 0-12.
History was made in Galbally on Saturday night when the first ever game under lights took place as the Pearses took on Derry side Desertmartin. Aidan O’Hagan netted twice for the home side while further good news for the locals was the return to action of Declan Murphy for the first time since breaking his leg in the opening league match of last year against Killyclogher. The ace forward also bagged a goal for his team as they ran riot against Desertmartin rattling up a 4-15 to 0-8 win. It was all Galbally from early on and they had built up a 2-6 to 2 points half time lead with scores from Paul Rafferty 1-3, Declan Murphy 1-0, and points from Ciaran Tally, Ryan Mc Gurk and Blane Nugent. The second half was very much the same as Galbally continued to produce some excellent free flowing football with Nugent, Murphy, Mc Gurk, Aidan O ‘Hagan and Rafferty all building on their side’s first half total. Desertmartin battled gamely but Johnny Mc Bride’s side showed that on this display that they will be serious contenders for honours in Division Two of the Tyrone league this year.
Newtownstewart hosted Derry side Steelstown and suffered a heavy 1-14 to 0- 5 defeat at the hands of the Maiden City men. Brendan Boyle top scored for the St. Eugene’s with three points but it was certainly a bad day at the office for Sean Mc Namee’s side. Meanwhile Eskra and Craigbane had a real ding dong battle before The Emmetts edged it by a point in the end with midfielder Paul Meegan, Paul Turbitt and Pearse Mc Girr on target for the home side. Cormac Arkinson and Paul Marlowe produced solid displays in defence for Eskra while Stephen Beattie had an excellent game in the middle of the field.
It was further bad news for Ardboe as the loughshore side lost their second Ulster League game in a row following their 2-8 to 0-10 reversal at the hands of Down side Ballyholland. Star of the show for The Rossas was Nishy O’Neill who kicked half a dozen points with Gavin Wylie on target.