The sixth and final heat of the annual Allianz Cumann na mBunscol 5-a-side Boys’ Indoor Gaelic Football for primary schools was held today in Clonoe Community Centre. Nine local schools entered teams for this qualifying heat, which produced a tremendously high level of skill and sportsmanship from all involved.
Day 6 of the heats, Monday 10th February, saw the 9 schools compete for a coveted place in the Tyrone Final. The format of the day’s play was based on two sections (A & B) of five and four respectively. Great praise must go to the teams from Laghey PS, St John’s PS Moy, Edendork PS and St Brigid’s PS Brocagh, all of whom battled like warriors in competition, but just fell short of qualifying despite their valiant efforts.
Section ‘B’ saw Aughamullan PS enjoy a couple of well earned victories, but a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Gaelscoil Uí Neill proved enough to end their spirited challenge for qualification. Instead, it was Muinteoir Pauric Martin’s talented Gaelscoil Uí Neill who secured a 100% win record and an automatic, deserved place in the heat finals. The Section ‘A’ winner was proving trickier to determine.
Two late victories for Master McGivern’s St Patrick’s PS, Annaghmore, came just too late for his brave lads to advance to the final. Meanwhile, two schools had gone unbeaten in this most competitive of sections. Master O’Neill had guided his St John’s PS Kingsisland team to three consecutive wins. The team from Coalisland’s Primate Dixon PS, under the management of Master McQuaid, had a similar win record. As was befitting of the occasion, these two met in a dramatic, winner-takes-all showdown. In a pulsating game of football, the play ebbed from end-to-end. A six goal spectacular ended with the spoils shared in thrilling 3:3 draw. A play-off eventually saw the boys from Coalisland win through to the day’s final. Both teams deserve enormous credit for their efforts.
The scene was now set for the final between Gaelscoil Uí Neill and Primate Dixon PS. This game also lived up to all pre-match expectations. Once again, we were treated to a feast of football. Goals rained down in a terrific tussle between two committed teams. 1:1 and then 2:2 became 3:3. Everyone was at the edge of their seats as the game entered its final minute and, then, drama…. A last-minute winner from Primate Dixon PS drove the Coalisland team to ultimate victory after an absorbing final. Heartbreak for Gaelscoil Uí Neill, but they can be very proud of their efforts on the day. Maith sibh!
The team from Primate Dixon PS now qualify for the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Tyrone Indoor Football Boys’ Final on 4th March in Omagh. We congratulate these talented Coalisland boys and wish them well as they join Carrickmore, Dungannon, Greencastle, Newtownstewart and Cabragh Primary Schools in a bid to be crowned Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Boys’ Indoor Football Tyrone Champions 2014. What a Final lies in store!
Our thanks to Tyrone referee Marty Devlin for his expert officiating, and to Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Tyrone Treasurer, Mickey Quinn, and Eddie Doris, PRO, for co-ordinating the day’s matches. A final word of thanks must go to the friendly, helpful staff at Clonoe Community Centre.