A year-all-but-two-days on from losing to The Rock in the 2019 Final, Kildress brought home our third-ever Men’s Tyrone Junior Championship with this evening’s 3-9 to 1-8 win over Drumragh. Played in the wet, but on a perfect Healy Park surface, this was a thoroughly entertaining game that went one way and then the other, and was allowed to do so by the no-nonsense refereeing of Cathal Forbes.
By the first half water break the teams were tied at 0-3 each, though Kildress’ tendency to look for goals meant they passed up a couple of good chances. Overall however, Kildress seemed hesitant whilst Drumragh looked and were sharper and more focused, out-scoring The Tones by 1-2 to a single point in the game’s second quarter, and building a deserved lead of 1-5 to 0-4 at the break.
If the first half was Drumragh’s, then the second certainly fell to Kildress. Four straight points in the opening ten minutes saw them level and whilst a Shane Cleary free relieved the storm for The Sarsfields and restored their lead, Kildress were now simply not going to let go. In less than ten hectic minutes the game was sealed through goals from Shay Murphy and Conor Quinn and a Philip Lennon point. Unusually in the modern era, the three goals scored from play in this very watchable game all came from long, ‘route one’ balls. Despite The Tones’ six-point lead Drumragh kept pressing, grabbing two points and being unlucky with another couple of efforts. Kildress, Dean McNally especially strong at the heart of things, saw the game out with Pauric Lagan winning the penalty that Philip Lennon expertly converted with the last kick of the game.
As has been the case throughout this LCC GROUP campaign, it was a powerful all-round team effort that saw Kildress home. Their full-back line of Aaron and Marty Loughran and Callum Holland was strong, Philip Lennon top-scored with 1-5 (not missing a placed ball all day) whilst Shea Murphy grabbed a vital 1-1 from play. But on a day when ‘route one’ produced three goals, it was the outstanding ‘brains-not-brawn’ play of Jonny Connolly, Conor Quinn (1-2 from play), Des Treacy and Stephen Loughran that really made a big difference for Kildress.
It’s important that we put on record a few bits-and-pieces regarding the Wolfe Tones’ 2020 LCC GROUP Tyrone Junior Championship success.
Our 2020 Champion players are: | Gerard Grimes | Aaron Loughran, Callum Holland, Marty Loughran | Eoin Brannigan, Dean McNally, Stephen McGurk | Enda McAleer, Shea Murphy (1-1) | Stephen Loughran, Des Treacy (0-1), Conor Quinn (1-2) | Philip Lennon (1-5), Caolan McNamee, Matty McGuigan | Corey Holland, Pauric Lagan, Michael J Connolly, Niall Connolly, Paul Connolly, Liam Gilligan, Tiarnan McNamee, Frank Mc Gurk, Martin Grimes, Adam Connolly, Jack Loughran, Gavin Corey, Phelim Mallon, Darragh McGuigan, Matthew Mullin, Caolan Mullin, Eoghan McElduff, Eoghan Francis Hagan, Shea Loughran, Francis Óg Quinn, Michael Tracey, Rory Loughran, Ruarai Loughran, Aaron Keenan, Nathan McKernan, Shay Quinn, Aidan McAleer, Conor McAleer, Philip McKenna, Matthew Loughran, Marty McGurk, Christopher McKenna, Darren O’Kane, Niall Quinn, Mark Treacy.
Our team is managed by Roger Keenan, coached by Tony Scullion and the backroom includes Eimear Connolly, Aidan O’Connor, Darren Conway, Kieran Kelly, Cormac Monaghan, Kieran McHugh, Ryan Conway and Sean McCrory.
Our Championship-winning Team’s Title Sponsors are Leadon Timber Frame and our Club’s Chief Officers in this historic year are Sean McCrory, Marie Quinn and Paddy Devlin.
And to all those many other people, near or far, Club people and others, Kildress people or not, who have helped us in any way in this remarkable year, the two simplest but most important words in any language: ‘Maith sibh/ Thank you’.