Clonoe O’Rahilly’s v Derrylaughan Kevin Barrys GAC
Clonoe secured their place in this weekend’s Tyrone Senior Football Championship semi-final by finally putting championship favorites Carrickmore to the sword in an epic one hundred and forty odd minutes of football last week.
They now face Derrylaughan who had already defeated St Malachy’s in mid-September to set up this mouthwatering clash at Dungannon, Saturday, throw in 4.30pm.
The replayed quarter-final survived five red cards, Clonoe finishing with twelve men, horrendous conditions and a poor standard of football. But what the game lacked in class made up for in character, determination and ambition as both sides never flinched despite the paltry score-line of 7-7 at full time. Extra-time ensued, but it was Dan McNulty that got the all-important scores to settle mattes 0-11 to 0-8.
Derrylaughan are considered outside favorites for this clash and lie near the bottom of the league losing eight out of their 15 games. They received a lucky draw in the championship defeating Cookstown and St. Malachy’s in the first two rounds respectively. However both sides are below Kevin Barrys in the league standings and the east Tyrone side has suffered heavy defeats in recent weeks.
O’ Rahilly’s will be without the services of Eamon Hughes, Shane O’ Hagan and Stephen McNulty due to their dismissals, picked up in the victory against Carrickmore. All three players involved received second yellow cards for lazy and cynical fouls late in the game. Despite this The Carmen men should progress to the final as they seek their first county championship since 2008.
An Droim Mor Naoimh Damhnait v Omagh St Enda’s
The second semi-final of the Tyrone SFC pits a gutsy Omagh St Enda’s side that knocked out last year’s winners Coalisland Fianna – in the previous round, and 2009 champions Dromore head to head in this eagerly awaited contest at Pomeroy, Sunday, throw in 430pm.
Omagh defeated The Fianna 2-16 to 2-10 at the second attempt of asking after their first encounter ended in a draw. On that day, Fianna came with a late surge to snatch a draw at the death. However this time round St. Enda’s were determined not to let their chance of a first final appearance in six year’s slip away.
True to form they settled quickly and never looked threatened by the former champions despite the close score-line. It was an impressive display overall as they scored 1-9 from play, rising star Conor O‘Donnell bagged 1-3 for his efforts.
Dromore also came through another replay convincingly defeating Ardboe 2-8 to 0-9 at a rain soaked Edendork last week. Despite the woeful conditions the game was played in a positive fashion and both sides threw up a lively contest.
The St. Dympna side has the luxury of calling on senior county players Ryan McMenamin, Sean O’ Neill and Eoin McCusker, while Omagh have recent All-Star nominee Joe McMahon and his sibling Justin to pull the strings upfront.
This is a tough one to call as both teams possess players capable, on their day, to win a match from anywhere. Omagh are on an upward spiral after defeating one of championship favorites and thus confidence will be high, something they will need in abundance if they are to overcome a serious and experienced outfit in Dromore.