Galbally in danger of drop

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

GALBALLY'S efforts to lift themselves out of the relegation zone suffered a blow when they lost at home to Omagh, but they will take heart and confidence from the spirit they displayed at Pearse Park.


The St Enda's grabbed crucial goals late in each half to swing the contest in their favour, and they pulled away to win by five points.

But the home side contributed generously to a competitive clash, and with a little bit of luck they could have taken something from it.

However, as they prepare to take on fellow strugglers in the weeks ahead, the men in blue will feel they are well able to collect points from crucial relegation battles.

Conor O'Donnell and Joe McMahon scored the goals that negated all Galbally's positive efforts, and kept Omagh very much in the hunt for a top four finish.

Omagh were in front inside the opening ten seconds, Conor Clarke charging through from the throw-in to send Cathal McCarron in to split the posts.

They doubled the lead through Ronan O'Neill, who cancelled out Galbally's opener, scored by Liam Rafferty.

But the Pearses began to pick up possession around midfield, where Blaine Nugent and Aidan O'Hagan worked hard, with Mark Lennon and Seamus Og Mulgrew lending a hand in the central area.

Paul Rafferty and Sean Murphy combined to send Liam Rafferty in for a fisted score, and they were level by the seventh minute when Daniel Kerr landed a superb effort from far out on the right wing.

Sean Murphy knocked over a free to edge the home side in front on ten minutes, and as the St Enda's countered, there was some solid defending from Conor Donnelly and Aidan Carberry to keep them out.

Mulgrew was rewarded for his non-stop running with a point as they pushed two clear, but that 13th minute effort was to be their last score of the half.

Omagh came strong in the second quarter, with Conor Meyler prompting from deep and Joe McMahon becoming more prominent around the central area.

And their defence became more difficult to breach, with Hugh Gallagher, Stephen Mullan and Justin McMahon standing firm.

Joe McMahon provided the pass for Conor O'Donnell to send over an excellent score, and McMahon himself slotted over a point to bring the sides level in the 18th minute.

Despite the best efforts of midfielder O'Hagan in dropping deep as a defensive shield, Omagh continued to threaten, and some effective pressing from Conor Quinn denied Ronan O'Neill a third point.

But they went back in front when Clarke and O'Donnell combined for McCarron to slice over a point, and in the 28th minute they grabbed goal.

O'Donnell collected Barry Tierney's long delivery to finish low past Mickey Corr and send his side in with a 1-6 to 0-5 interval lead.

Galbally stepped up their intensity in the third quarter, narrowing the gap to a single point, and looked like they had the mentality to get something from the game.

Sean Murphy converted a free and Declan Murphy floated over a neat score as they began to find gaps in the opposition defence.

Omagh broke away for Cormac O'Neill to slot over a point, but the Pearses were soon back on the attack, with Sean Murphy adding another spectacular score, before Nugent and Kerr combined for substitute Patrick Quinn to narrow the gap to a single point.

Hugh Gallagher stepped in on a couple of occasions to disrupt Galbally attacks, and the men from Healy Park countered for McCarron to fire over his third point, but once again, there was a response, with Sean Murphy breaking the ball into the path of Kerr for a well worked score.

But Omagh knew they had to press higher in order to break the momentum of their opponents.

They committed more men forward, and forced Galbally to drop men deeper, and in the final quarter, the Pearses were very much on the back foot, defending in numbers and restricted to sporadic breaks.

Conor Clarke and Cormac O'Neill carved the opening for Ronan O'Neill to find the target, and Justin McMahon pushed forward to set up a score for Clarke, with Barry Tierney also involved.

Tierney and Clarke were becoming increasingly influential, while Meyler's energy was another key factor as they pressure was cranked up.

O'Donnell won the free that Ronan O'Neill converted, and now the St Enda's led by four.

And they clinched the league points with a second goal in the 58th minute. Moving the ball through the hands with speed and accuracy, they opened up the Galbally defence.

Meyler, Joe McMahon, O'Donnell and Ronan O'Neill were all involved, before McMahon finished off the move with a decisive finish from close range.

Galbally never gave up, and were desperately unlucky not to grab a goal of their own when Sean Murphy smashed in a shot which brought a terrific save from Ryan Clarke.

They hit a couple of stoppage time scores through Nugent and Declan Murphy, but Omagh emerged as deserved winners.

Galbally: Mickey Corr; Conor Quinn, Fergal McGarrity, Shay Hurson; Conor Donnelly, Aidan Carberry, Mark Lennon; Blaine Nugent (0-1), Aidan O'Hagan; Seamus Og Mulgrew (0-1), Paul Rafferty, Declan Murphy (0-2); Sean Murphy (0-3), Daniel Kerr (0-2), Liam Rafferty (0-2).

Subs: Patrick Quinn (0-1) for P Rafferty, Mark Donnelly for O'Hagan.

Omagh: Ryan Clarke; Ciaran McLaughlin, Hugh Gallagher, Stephen Mullan; Barry Tierney, Justin McMahon, Conor Meyler; Conor Clarke (0-1), Turlough Gallagher; Thomas Clarke, Ronan O'Neill (0-4), Joe McMahon (1-1); Cormac O'Neill, Cathal McCarron (0-3), Conor O'Donnell (1-1).

Subs: Aaron Grugan for T Clarke, Conor McMahon for McCarron, Joe Colton for C O'Neill (0-1), Dean O'Neill for T Gallagher.


County stars promoting mental health

Tyrone full-back Ronan McNamee and manager Mickey Harte are at the forefront of a new social media campaign aimed at improving mental health.

Ulster GAA in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA) is launching a new campaign aimed at improving mental and emotional wellbeing.

The social media campaign is based around Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing and includes short films featuring five Ulster GAA Mental Health Ambassadors.

The 5 Steps to Wellbeing include simple things which we all can do every day to look after our mental wellbeing. The 5 Steps to Wellbeing are:

Connect with others around us to develop meaningful relationships;

Be Active through physical activities which we enjoy and which suit our ability;

Take Notice of our surroundings, pausing for a few moments to appreciate the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes which form an important part of living;

Keep Learning things which interest you, like a new language, a new recipe, or how to play a musical instrument;

Give to others; whether it's a listening ear, your time through volunteering, or giving someone your appreciation.

The Ulster GAA Mental Health Ambassadors include: Mickey Harte (Tyrone GAA), Drew Wylie (Monaghan GAA), Geraldine McLaughlin (Donegal Ladies GAA), Aoife Ní Chaiside (Slaughtneil and Derry Camogie), and Ronan McNamee (Tyrone GAA).

The short films will be shown at the Ulster Senior Football Championship Final in Clones on Sunday 16th July.

The campaign will be promoted by Ulster GAA on their social media channels, and shared with County Health and Wellbeing Committees, and Club Health and Wellbeing Officers.

People are encouraged to share the content through personal social media accounts with the overall aim being to promote positive messages about mental health to a wide and diverse audience, resulting in improved mental health and wellbeing at a community-level.

Speaking about the campaign Ulster GAA President Michael Hasson said "It is evident that our mental wellbeing is such an important contributor to our overall health.

"We are very aware that we need to be more confident in speaking about mental health.  I'm delighted to see Ulster GAA play a role in encouraging people to be more conscious of their mental health, and encouraging 'The 5 Steps to Wellbeing'.

"I look forward to seeing the social media campaign being widely shared within our communities over the months and years to come. I would like to sincerely thank our Mental Health Ambassadors for engaging so positively in this very important campaign."

Fiona Teague, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager with the Public Health Agency said: "Since 2013 the PHA has been working with a number of sporting bodies including the GAA, IFA, IRFU and Sport NI to address specific health and wellbeing challenges in the communities and clubs they work in.

"The GAA has been one of the main governing bodies that has encompassed health and wellbeing as part of their core business in recent years, and the new social media campaign with GAA provides the PHA with an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about mental health with local communities."

Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing was developed by Belfast Strategic Partnership's Emotional Health and Wellbeing Group and is based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing, developed by the New Economics Foundation (NEF).


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