OMAGH ACADEMY 1ST XV 15
RS PORTORA 1ST XV 3
EXACTING revenge for a series of derby defeats at the hands of familiar foes RS Portora was the primary motivation for the Omagh Academy players who on Saturday morning swept aside the challenge of their arch rivals to book a place in the final of the Northern Bank Schools’ Trophy.
In last year’s showpiece decider at Dungannon, Portora emerged victorious and earlier this season the Fermanagh representatives followed that up with back-to-back challenge match victories over the Omagh boys.
In Saturday’s semi-final though Ross Hunter’s battle-hardened troops produced a super-charged display with skipper, Ryan Mitchell, Greg Deazley and number eight Michael Gibson all crossing the line in a richly deserved 15-3 victory at a muddy Campsie playing fields.
The Omagh pack were, to a man, magnificent and afterwards coach Hunter revealed that recent failures against Portora had been the motivation to an inspired performance.
“This result is all the sweeter after last year [losing to Portora in the final of the same competition],” he said.
“We spoke about it all week and we wanted a bit of pay back. Apart from the penalty we conceded in the first five minutes, I thought our discipline helped us.”
Having the motivation to put one over on their nearest rivals was one thing but even more pleasing for Hunter was the manner in which his players had clinically executed their game plan in what were horrendous underfoot conditions.