Errigal bag league title.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

ERRIGAL Ciaran are Tyrone Division One champions for the first time since 2010, thanks to a convincing win over Coalisland in the final at Carrickmore.

Errigal Ciaran...2-13

The floodgates opened late in the first half, when teenager Peter Og McCartan got in for the first of two goals for the Dunmoyle men.

After a closely contested opening half, they pulled away and dominated all the key areas, playing an exciting brand of attacking football which proved supremely effective.

The sides were deadlocked at 0-3 each after 20 minutes, and this looked like a game that was going to be dominated by defences.

That was until Pascal Canavan's men decided to commit more men to the attack, running at their opponents and capitalise on the gaps that began to open up.

It worked a treat and the scores flowed, with the contest virtually out of Coalisland's reach once Davy Harte slotted home a second goal ten minutes into the second half.

"One thing we have in our teams is pace, and once we got the legs going, it did open them up," said full forward Davy Harte.

"We got a few scores before half-time, which were crucial, and given the nature of the game, the conditions and that, we needed to be ahead given the wind, and thankfully we held out in the second half. I thought the boys showed good composure."

After suffering the devastation of defeat in the championship final, Errigal were determined to bounce back and give themselves something to celebrate at the tail-end of a season that had seen significant progress at Dunmoyle.

"I think it does take character when you can show that you can bounce back after a county final defeat, because it was hugely disappointing," said the former Tyrone star.

"We had planned very well, trained very well for it, but on the day we just didn't perform, and full credit to Omagh on their victory.

"But we knew in the back of our minds we still had the league to play for. We performed quite well in the league, we achieved the consistency that we didn't have last year.

"So to translate that into performances this year, to finish top of the league, was encouraging, and to follow that up with this victory was great, so we're delighted." Harte is encouraged by the development of a young squad and the establishment of a strong player base as the club seeks a return to the glory days when Tyrone SFC titles were being won on a regular basis.

"That's what you're always hoping to do, to give yourself a platform to push on for next year.

There's never any guarantees, but what it does do, it gives you confidence.

"We are quite a young team in general, overall, so it lets those boys know the level they can perform to and hopefully build confidence for the future.

"It's great to have youth coming through, they do give the older players the legs and help keep them going.

"We have quite a few U21s playing in that team, and they're good young lads, they have good attitudes. It does bode well." Peter Harte opened the scoring with a second minute point, but Coalisland took the lead when Dermot Thornton landed a free, followed by a flowing move which ended with a Cormac O'Hagan point.

Aidan McCrory intercepted to snuff out a Fianna attack and send Harte in for his second, slipping away from the clutches of marker Michael McKernan to find the target.

Both sides had some fine defensive interventions, and the men from Dunmoyle had to work hard to carve out the opportunity for their next score, Davy Harte finishing off a move involving Stephen McRory, Pauric McAnenly and Eoin Quinn.

But Coalisland responded with a 17th minute Eoghan Rankin point, bringing the sides level again, as the large crowd waited for a cagey tie to explode into action.

They didn't have to wait much longer, for Errigal committed more men to the attacking effort, and it paid off in spades.

The signs were ominous for Coalisland when McAnenly found a huge gap to charge through and pop over a point, and Errigal, winning plenty of possession from Johnny Curran's kick-outs, continued to press.

Teenager Peter Og McCartan drove through for a point, and in the 28th minute, it was minor star McCartan who smashed home a brilliant goal from Stephen McRory's assist.

Coalisland were reeling and unable to turn the game back in their favour, despite the efforts of McKernan, Padraig Hampsey and Niall Kerr.

Further points followed from Stephen McRory and corner back Niall Kelly as Errigal opened out a 1-7 to 0-3 lead, and the game was already almost beyond the Fianna.

In stoppage time, Paddy McNeice and McAnenly traded points, and Errigal went in at the break with a 1-8 to 0-4 lead.

They stretched the advantage through McAnenly, with his third, and Coalisland were struggling to find a way to break their opponents' stranglehold on the contest.

They pulled back points through Thornton, from a '45, and Cathaoir Quinn, who squeezed over a point from a tight angle, but their route one strategy, long ball to the front men, just wasn't working.

They introduced Peter McGahan as target man, but Ciaran Quinn and Aidan McCrory combined to snuff out his aerial threat, and there was no sign that the course of the game was going to change.

And Errigal struck another major blow in the 50th minute when, with goalkeeper Curran committed off his line, Peter Harte pinged a pass to Ben McDonnell, who sent Davy Harte in to finish to an empty net.

Now nine ahead, the title was virtually in the bag, and Errigal Ciaran were performing with assurance.

Thornton, Plunkett Kane and Paddy McNeice did registetr Coalisland scores, but Errigal finished with confidence, tagging on further points through skipper Cathal McRory, Mark Kavanagh and Darren Canavan to secure their first league title in seven years.

Teams and scorers:

Errigal Ciaran - Ronan McAnenly; Niall Kelly (0-1), Aidan McCrory, Ciaran Quinn; Peter Og McCartan (1-1), Damien McDermott, Cathal McRory (0-1); Ben McDonnell, Eoin Kelly; Eoin Quinn, Peter Harte (0-3), Stephen McRory (0-1); Pauric McAnenly (0-3), Davy Harte (1-1), Ronan McRory.

Subs - Darren Canavan (0-1) for E Quinn, Mark Kavanagh (0-1) for S McRory, Ryan Lynch for R McRory, Bryan Horisk for E Kelly, Damien 'DD' McDermott for McAnenly

Coalisland - Johnny Curran; Rhys Teague, Michael McKernan, Eoghan Hampsey; Jason Carberry, Niall Kerr, Peter Herron; Cormac O'Hagan (0-1), Padraig Hampsey; Paddy McNeice (0-2), Brian Toner, Plunkett Kane (0-1); Cathaoir Quinn (0-1), Dermot Thornton (0-3), Eoghan Rankin (0-1).

Subs - Peter McGahan for O'Hagan, Niall Fox for Quinn, Eamon McGlinchey for Teague.


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