#ThrowbackThursday – 2006 the year that Omagh young guns pointed to a very bright future!
Omagh St. Enda’s were basking in the glory of another Tyrone Senior Football championship title just over a week ago in Healy Park following a 0-10 to 0-8 victory over Errigal Ciaran.
The team celebrated but there was still a sense there that Paddy Crozier’s side had even bigger ambitions ahead of them.
In 2014 Omagh ventured into the somewhat unknown territory of the Ulster Senior club Football championship. The team, while laced with talent and quality all over, had largely secured the O’Neil Cup honours in that campaign with an immense depth of character and resolve. A couple of famous one point victories in the early rounds of a tough Tyrone Senior championship run were concluded in style and celebration when Ronan O’Neill popped up in the dying moments to deny Carrickmore with a sensational finish to the back of the opposition net.
The fairytale continued for a while in Ulster too, especially with that amazing comeback and fantastic victory over the shellshocked ‘raging hot favourites, Crossmaglen. It set up a Ulster Club Final against Derry’s Slaughtniel and, disappointingly, it was the one game that slipped through the fingers of Omagh that season as they lost by just a single point.
Of course what Slaughtniel have continued to do ever since could, in itself, be the stuff of folklore while Omagh have taken a bit more time to regroup and negotiate their path back to the top table. And so to the next assignment for Omagh and a date again with reigning Ulster Senior Club champions, Slaughtniel.
What a game is in prospect at 7m this Saturday evening in Celtic Park.
Omagh have possibly not been showing their very best spectacular form in their 2017 Senior Championship victory in Tyrone but, especially in the last quarter against Trillick in the semi final, they have exhibited the undoubted quality and class which could propel them to even greater heights, that many in the club have anticipated for so long. The potential to put in a major run in the Ulster club series is extremely high for this Omagh side.
And so on that note, in our #ThrowbackThursday feature, we refer back to a year when a number of very talented young individuals in the current squad were showing the qualities that would mark them out as future stars of the game. Many have gone on to win ulster and All Ireland minor titles for example with Tyrone and even celebrated Ulster club success in the juvenile arena with club too.
2006 Under 14 football race in Tyrone suggested what may come in the next decade in the O’Neill County…
But in 2006 the signs were there as the Omagh team, for the first time in many years, showed immense class to secure the Tyrone Grade 1 Feile na nOg title. Indeed, significantly in that Feile run in 2006 they went on to reach the All Ireland Division 1 Semi Final where they lost out narrowly to the eventual all Ireland Division 1 Feile champions, Kilcoo of Down.
Many of that Kilcoo team, of course, have now been dominating at senior level in their own county and were only narrowly defeated by Slaughtneil just over a week ago, in their bid to cross swords with Omagh again.
On that note we bring you on a look-back, including the short reviews of the games in question, of that 2006 campaign in which Omagh won the Division 1 Feile Title as well as the Under 14 Grade 1 football league honours.
2006 was also a year which pointed to a few other things as well in terms of future stars and successes…
Killyclogher’s Tiernan mcCann captained his club to the Grade 1 Og Sport title and of course McCann and many of his colleagues went on to win the Tyrone Senior Football Championship of twelve months ago.
Then, in the Grade 1 Under 14 Football Championship, the only title that Omagh didn’t win in that age-group in 2006, a Niall Sludden inspired Dromore side defeated Cappagh to win the title.
All interesting reading for those clubs who have been picking up honours in the grade 1 under-age arena in the past few seasons!
Omagh end 2006 under-14 campaign with feile & league titles
Under-14 Grade One Football League Final: Omagh 4-9 Dromore 3-8
(Monday 26th June 2006)
Omagh edge exciting league decider
A cracking grade one under-14 league final saw Omagh edge the verdict against Dromore at Drumragh on Monday 26th June to complete a double for the county feile champions.
It was a contest that flowed one way and then the other and on the night it was a pity that there had to be a loser. Omagh emerged victorious but for Dromore there was some consolation afterwards in the fact that they had the replay of the championship final to come, a trophy they would go on to win.
The St Dympna’s couldn’t have wished for a better start as Aaron McNulty and Niall Sludden landed points with Shane McCusker shooting past Omagh keeper Ryan Clarke for an early five-point advantage. Tony McCann then got Omagh’s challenge up and running with a well-taken goal but Dromore were still looking the better side.
Rory O’Neill fired over a Dromore point and a goal from Ethan Teague had them in control again. Omagh only managed a single point in the opening half through Cormac O’Neill but they still found themselves on level terms at the break after Kieran Eannetta and Tony McCann struck for goals to leave it all to play for at the break, the sides tied at 2-4 to 3-1.
On the restart Rory McBride put Omagh in front with a point but Dromore’s response was instant as substitute Philip O’Neill punched home their third goal of the game. Niall Sludden and Conan Grugan exchanged points from placed balls before an Aaron McNulty effort from play edged the St Dympna’s three ahead. They were to score only another two points though in the remaining twenty minutes as the St.Endas lifted the tempo.
Conan Grugan hit a brace of points and his long range shot deceived keeper Declan McKenna and ended up in the net. Omagh now had the bit between their teeth and two Rory McBride points ensured that the trophy went to the St Enda’s after a thoroughly entertaining affair.
Omagh – Ryan Clarke, Carl McCrystal, Kieran Eannetta, Ruairi Bradley, Nigel Brannigan, Eoghan McElduff, Patrick McCourt, Conor Clarke, Conan Grugan, Michael Gallagher, Ronan O’Neill, Cormac O’Neill, Piaras McElduff, Tony McCann, Rory McBride. Sub – Eamon McMahon
Omagh scorers – Tony McCann 2-1, Conan Grugan 1-4, Rory McBride 0-3, Kieran Eannetta 1-0, Cormac O’Neill 0-1
Dromore – Declan McKenna, Ruairi Sludden, Gavin Healy, Tomas McCarron, Shaun Quinn, Aodhan O’Donnell, Rory O’Neill, Matthew McCaffrey, Ethan Teague, Aaron McNulty, Niall Sludden, Shane McCusker, Niall Sludden, Sean McNabb, Ronan McNabb. Sub – Philip O’Neill
Dromore scorers – Ethan Teague 1-0, Shane McCusker 1-0, Philip O’Neill 1-0, Niall Sludden 0-3, Aaron McNulty 0-2, Aodhan O’Donnell 0-1, Rory O’Neill 0-1, Sean McNabb 0-1
Referee – M McCarron, Fintona
Under-14 Grade One Championship Final: Dromore 4-12 Cappagh 4-12
(Saturday 24th June 2006)
Superb advert for underage football ends in stalemate
A superb advert for underage football ended in stalemate on the last Saturday of June, hours after Tyrone had beaten Louth in Omagh, when Dromore and Cappagh took part in a hugely entertaining and high scoring encounter.
Dromore went into this contest at Beragh having lost the league final a week earlier against Omagh and they looked as though they were going to take the championship trophy when they grabbed their fourth goal a minute from time but Cappagh rallied and got an injury time equaliser and in the end a draw was a fair result.
Dromore had an opportunity to get off to a dream start when they were awarded a first minute penalty but Niall Sludden’s kick was saved by Cappagh keeper Sean Tester. Midfielder Cillian McGinn opened the scoring before the outstanding Tomas Nugent doubled Cappagh’s advantage.
Two Niall Sludden frees got Dromore’s challenge up and running but Cappagh responded with three Tommy Nugent scores before corner forward Matthew Knox got the first goal of the game in the 18th minute. That left Cappagh 1-5 to 0-2 in front but Dromore responded with two points each from Aaron McNulty and Niall Slevin to take themselves back into contention. As the interval approached Tommy Nugent and Luke McGinn both hit the target to leave the score 1-7 to 0-6 in favour of Cappagh at half-time.
Within twenty seconds of the restart Tommy Nugent had the ball in the back of the Dromore net and when the same player quickly tagged on two points it looked as though Cappagh were going to coast to victory. Dromore though had other ideas and between the fifth and twelfth minutes of the second period they put together some superb football. Sean McNabb fired home a 36th minute goal with Aaron McNulty, Niall Slevin, Aodhan O’Donnell and substitute Sean Muldoon all landing points before Sean McNabb found the net again to put Dromore in front.
Their lead lasted only two minutes though as full forward Conall McCann netted at the other end before a brace from Tommy Nugent left three between them going into the final ten minutes. Aaron McNulty and Tommy Nugent then exchanged points and with time running out there was still plenty of drama in store.
With three minutes to go Dromore were awarded another penalty and when Niall Sludden’s effort came back off the post he was first to react to drive the rebound to the net to level matters. The score now stood at 3-12 apiece but with just a minute to play right half forward Conor Sweeney got in for what looked like the match clinching score. Dromore refused to accept defeat though and as the game moved into injury time Sean McNabb completed his hat-trick to give his side a deserved second bite at the cherry.
Dromore scorers – Sean McNabb 3-0, Niall Sludden 1-4, Aaron McNulty 0-4, Niall Slevin 0-2, Aodan O’Donnell 0-1, Sean Muldoon 0-1
Cappagh scorers – Tomas Nugent 1-10, Matthew Knox 1-0, Conall McCann 1-0, Conor Sweeney 1-0, Cillian McGinn 0-1, Luke McGinn 0-1
Dromore – Declan McKenna, Ruairi Sludden, Gavin Healy, Tomas McCarron, Shaun Quinn, Rory O’Neill, Cathal Teague, Matthew McCaffrey, Ethan Teague, Aaron McNulty, Niall Sludden, Shane McCusker, Niall Sludden, Sean McNabb, Ronan McNabb. Subs – Philip O’Neill for Tomas McCarron, Aodhan O’Donnell for Matthew McCaffrey, Sean Mullan for Cathal Teague, Colm McCrory for Ronan McNabb
Cappagh – Sean Tester, Michael Meenagh, Colm McGrath, Mark McAleer, Stevie Kelly, Darragh Leonard, Barry McGinn, Conor McElroy, Cillian McGinn, Conor Sweeney, Tomas Nugent, Luke McGinn, Mark Bradley, Conall McCann, Matthew Knox. Sub – Brendan McCartan for Conall McCann
Referee – Barry Coary, Derrylaughan
Under-14 Grade One Championship Final Replay: Dromore 0-11 Cappagh 0-8
(Friday 30th June 2006)
Dromore secure the under-14 championship title
Dromore lifted the under-14 grade one championship trophy when they had three points to spare over a spirited Cappagh side in the replay at Drumragh on Friday 30th June.
In the first instalment both sides had scored 4-12 each but on this occasion both defences were very much on top with no goals registered, and it was the winners’ second half performance that sealed their victory.
Aidan McNulty opened the scoring for Dromore but by the twelfth minute they had found themselves 0-4 to 0-1 behind as a result of three points from Tomas Nugent and one from Mark Bradley. Two frees from Niall Sludden along with a Sean McNabb point from play brought the match level but it was Cappagh who ended the opening half the stronger with Tomas Nugent converting two late frees for a 0-6 to 0-4 interval advantage.
Cappagh had ended the first half well but they failed to continue on from where they had left off and in fact they weren’t to manage a score for the first twenty five minutes of the second half and that was to prove their downfall.
Aaron McNulty and Niall Sludden both hit the target for Dromore to level the contest before an Ethan Teague effort in the 41st minute gave them an advantage they weren’t to lose. Aodhan O’Donnell, Niall Slevin and Niall Sludden then all added to the Dromore tally as they reeled off four crucial points in as many minutes.
In the 59th minute Aodhan O’Donnell ventured forward from his centre half back berth to shoot his second point of the proceedings as Dromore went five clear. Tomas Nugent eventually opened Cappagh’s second half account in the 55th minute and their team captain Darragh Leonard added another point in the final minute but there was to be no dramatic ending like the first day when three goals were scored late on, as Dromore held out to take the title.
After two exciting games, which ended with an aggregate score of 4-23 to 4-20 in Dromore’s favour, Alan Richardson presented the under-14 championship trophy to the Dromore captain Niall Sludden.
Dromore scorers – Niall Sludden 0-4, Aidan McNulty 0-2, Aodhan O’Donnell 0-2, Sean McNabb 0-1, Niall Slevin 0-1, Ethan Teague 0-1
Cappagh scorers – Tomas Nugent 0-6, Mark Bradley 0-1, Darragh Leonard 0-1
Dromore – Declan McKenna, Ruairi Sludden, Gavin Healy, Tomas McCarron, Shaun Quinn, Aodhan O’Donnell, Rory O’Neill, Matthew McCaffrey, Ethan Teague, Aaron McNulty, Niall Sludden, Shane McCusker, Sean Muldoon, Sean McNabb, Niall Slevin. Subs – Cathal Teague for Ruairi Sludden, Colm McCrory for Shane McCusker
Cappagh – Sean Tester, Micheal Meenagh, Colm McGrath, Mark McAleer, Stevie Kelly, Darragh Leonard, Barry McGinn, Conor McElroy, Cillian McGinn, Conor Sweeney, Tomas Nugent, Luke McGinn, Mark Bradley, Conall McCann, Matthew Knox. Sub – Brendan McCartan for Michael Meenagh