Owen Roes sent Division Two table toppers Aghyaran crashing out of the Intermediate Championship when they emerged 2-9 to 2-7 victors at O’Neills Healy Park on Saturday night in an exciting first round tussle.
Two superb second half goals from Peter Kirk and Michael Dooher proved the key scores for the Glenmornan men and provided them with a sufficient cushion to be able to fend off a late St Davog’s rally.
Aghyaran failed to build on a wonderful start with Eoghan McHugh bundling the ball to the net in the early stages. After a strangely off key display they trailed 2-8 to 1-3 heading into the final ten minutes before a Ciaran McGlinchey goal and two points from sub Ronan McHugh set up a grandstand finish.
However despite enduring a few scares around their own square during a frantic finale the Roes deservedly saw the job through.
Inevitably county star Cathal McShane was a pivotal figure in this victory but he was surrounded by an impressive supporting cast, with Gerard Devine, Brendan Boggs, Tony Devine, Peter Kirk and Michael Dooher all putting in commendable shifts.
For Aghyaran, Eoghan McHugh was a real scoring threat anytime he was fed quality possession, while further back Ciaran McGlinchey, Ronan McNamee and Shay Gallagher had their moments but they couldn’t really complain about the outcome.
Meanwhile in the first part of the Intermediate Championship double bill at Omagh, Greencastle cantered through to the last eight against an over-matched and inexperienced Sigersons line-up, 3-15 to 0-7.
When Cahir McCullagh found the net just fourteen seconds from the throw-in it set the tone for a one-sided clash and across the subsequent hour St Patrick’s were in complete control.
While Strabane initially responded positively to the concession of that sucker punch McCullagh goal, with Oran McGrath twice pointing (one free), it quickly became evident that this match was only headed in the one direction.
The Sigersons did feel aggrieved just past the midway mark in the half when referee Donal Dorman waved away their penalty appeals after Gormley went to ground under challenge inside the large square.
For the most part though they struggled for any sort of end product with what possession they did garner.
There was no let-up from the leaders on the resumption, with every player, including subs, clearly looking to nail down a starting berth for the next round.
Strabane looked a dispirited bunch, and their cause wasn’t helped when midfielder Oisin Kelly picked up a black card but ‘Castle showed no mercy as they continued to add to their already formidable lead.
To their credit the Sigersons rallied slightly in the closing stages as McBride (free), Mark McAdams and sub Martin Mongan pointed consolation scores.
But Greencastle replacement Shane McCullagh put the rubber stamp on a dominant display with a fisted goal in the last minute, after trading passes with Ronan Holywood, before also adding a point for good measure.