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Victory And Defeat: Opposite Sides Of The Same Coin.
It is always interesting to see the contrasting expressions on people’s faces when an important match ends. The elation and relief of one set of players contrasts hugely with the devastation and feeling of despair that engulfs the losers.
I watched a very hard fought and evenly balanced game on Sunday afternoon in Castlederg between two sides intent on giving it everything in search of victory. Both sets of players knew what was at stake and when the final whistle sounded it was clear that for the Drumquin lads the stark realisation of another year in junior football was what awaited them.
Strabane would have come into this game as favourites considering their years spent in a higher grade of football. However if a total stranger had shown up on Sunday he or she would have been hard pressed to tell which side was most senior. Drumquin showed remarkable resilience, organisation and skill to give The Sigersons the fright of their lives. Experience is such an immeasurable quality but it was on display in bucket loads on Sunday for The Tones as Ryan Mc Callion and Liam Patterson produced high quality performances throughout the eighty minutes of the game. Neither of these players deserved to be on the losing side on Sunday but in knockout football there can be only one winner.
What Sunday clearly showed is that there is very little between the top sides in Division Three and the bottom few sides in Intermediate football and the same is also the case with Divisions One and Two. Moortown produced a great display in their playoff game in Cookstown to finally condemn Kildress to relegation and to secure their own return to senior football.
As a result we see three sides from Intermediate football secure promotion to the senior ranks for the first time in a while. And with last year’s two promoted teams Cookstown and Greencastle retaining their senior status for 2011 it could be argued that we have in effect five Intermediate teams in senior football. It certainly adds to the case for a return to a four division league of twelve teams each because on the evidence of the close call for Sigersons and the heavy defeat for Kildress the top and bottom of these divisions may not be all that far apart.
Interestingly one final thought for all Moortown supporters to dwell on. Both Strabane and Moortown were involved in promotion playoffs on Sunday but both at opposite ends of the same division. Moortown secured senior football while Strabane just managed to retain their position in Intermediate. However when the sides met in the league just over twelve weeks ago the border side beat the St. Malachy’s by ten points. Their fortunes have changed considerably since but it is still food for thought for both sides as they sight their sights on next season.