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Emotional first title for Tattyreagh.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Emotional first title for Tattyreagh. thumbnailTyrone Junior Football Champions 2017, Tattyreagh St Patrick’s.

TATTYREAGH won their first ever championship title with a seven points victory over Clogher in the Donnelly Vauxhall Tyrone JFC final.

TATTYREAGH ...2-11
CLOGHER...2-4

They lost last year's decider, but made no mistake at Carrickmore, where they conceded goals either side of half-time, but still had enough class and fire power.

James Darcy's stoppage time goal clinched it for them, and the Tats will move up to Intermediate football for 2018.

It was a glorious way to celebrate the club's centenary, finally landing a championship trophy to make up for the disappointment of losing five finals.

Clogher, who had not been in a championship decider since 2000, looked like they could get themselves back into the game, but were unable to break down a solid Tattyreagh defence late on.

Manager Stephen McHugh hailed the composure of his players in the closing stages.

"We didn't panic, that was the main thing. I was worried about panic setting in, but it didn't. they just go around each other, worked hard, stretched the ball out wide and took it out of trouble," he said.

The historic triumph was dedicated to two dedicated club men who passed away this year, Pat Darcy and Dominic Earley.

"It's centenary year, but all the focus was Dom Earley and Pat Darcy. Dom was in my backroom team, he was part of the management set-up from the very start, his analytics were second to none. And Pat Darcy, club stalwart, county stalwart, Ulster stalwart." McHugh said he had no hesitation in committing to another year with the club, after losing out in last year's decider.

"It was always our goal. We met in January and re-grouped, after the disappointment of losing a league and losing a championship," said manager McHugh.

"I had only come to the Tattyreagh club for one year, but we all sat down in January in Quinn's Corner, myself, Dom Earley and Stevie Ferguson and a couple of the players.

"We decided we were going to give it a go, the hunger and the appetite was there to do it again. We went for it." There were many heroes on the day for Tattyreagh, but McHugh singled out centre back Eoghain Murray.

"I thought Eoghain Murray was outstanding, I thought he was man of the match by a street.

"For 20 minutes of the first half, I thought we were outstanding, then we went to sleep for ten minutes and gave away a goal. Then we came very strong in the second half.

Fergal McKenna got Clogher off the mark with an early free, but the sides were level by the fifth minute when Eoghain Murray claimed a terrific catch, sending Colin Harkin off on a surging run, with Johnny Harkin accepting the pass to slot over a fine score.

And the Tats were in front soon afterwards, Darcy taking Robert Porter's return pass to split the posts.

With Murray and the Harkin brothers, Colin and Johnny, carrying the fight to their opponents, Tattyreagh were in full flow, playing creative and inventive football, their movement a joy to watch.

And it was full forward Darcy who provided the threat up front, winning ball and laying off to colleagues in a better position.

They went 0-5 to 0-1 ahead with Porter's score, and while Clogher managed a response in the form of a Fergal McKenna free, the Tats struck a major blow with a Chris McCarroll goal in the 19th minute.

Darcy played a delightful pass into space for the midfielder to take in his stride and stroke the ball to the net past Rory McElroy.

They tagged on point through Gareth Mimnagh and Colin Harkin, but right at the end of rthe opening half, when the game appeared to have slipped away from them, Clogher pulled back a goal. Jamie Callaghan sent a long, dropping ball into the danger area, where Michael McCaughey laud off to McCaffrey, and he finished to the net from close range Tattyreagh led by 1-7 to 1-2 at the interval, but Clogher grabbed a second goal four minutes after the restart, Marc McConnell's 40 metre free deceiving everybody and going all the way to the bottom corner of the net, and suddenly an eight points lead had been sliced back to two.

Clogher tightened up in defence, the workrate stepped up significantly from the opening period, with men tracking back to close down their opponents.

Centre back Conor Shields charged through for a brilliant individual score, but his departure soon afterwards due to injury was a big blow to Clogher's hopes.

Tatthreagh pushed on with scores from Jarleth McDonagh and skipper Colin Harkin, and while Shields did return to the action, his effectiveness was very much hampered by injury.

Michael McCaughey narrowed the gap with a point, and Clogher pressed strongly in the closing stages, but brilliant defending from Peadar Mullan and John Gilmurray kept the Eire Ogs out, And it was the classy Darcy who sealed the triumph with a stoppage time goal, smashing his shot to the net after McDonagh and Mimnagh had combined out on the right.

Tattyreagh scorers: James Darcy 1-2, Chris McCarroll 1-0, Johnny Harkin 0-3, Colin Harkin 0-2, Gareth Mimnagh, Robert Porter, Jarleth McDonagh, Niall Keyes (free) 0-1 each.

Clogher scorers: Marc McConnell, Sean McCaffrey 1-0 each, Fergal McKenna 0-2 (2 frees), Michael McCaughey, Conor Shields 0-1 each.

Tattyreagh: Niall Keys; Declan Gallagher, Joe Cartin, Damien Mullan; Brendan Armstrong, Eoghain Murray, Peadar Mullan, Chris McCarroll; Colin Harkin; Kevin Gallagher, Johnny Harkin, Eoin McGinn; Robert Porter, James Darcy, Gareth Mimnagh.

Subs: John Gilmurray for Cartin, Sean Gormley for McCarroll, Jarleth McDonagh for McGinn

Clogher: Rory McElroy; Paddy Shields, Dominic McKernan, Cathal Tierney; Matty Callaghan, Conor Shields, Marc Bogue; Sean McCaffrey, Marc Tierney; Michael McCaughey, Marc McConnell, Paul Tierney; Ryan McCaughey, Jamie Callaghan, Fergal McKenna.

Subs: Barry McKenna for McCaughey, Paul McElroy for P Shields, Martin Shortt for C Shields, C Shields for P Tier ney Referee: Martin Conroy (Moy).

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