TWENTY years of pain, much soul searching and a number of false dawns ended at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields this afternoon when Omagh Academicals were once again crowned the best Junior side in Ulster.
Three stunning second half tries by man of the match James Catterson, Ali Beckett and Scott Barr proved enough to see off the challenge of a Carrick side 18-6 in the final game of what had been a magnificent campaign.
In the final reckoning Phil Marshall’s resurgent Accies finished top of the Kukri Ulster Championship One pile with a point to spare over Instonians, having lost just twice all season.
A first Qualifying One triumph in two decades means Omagh now go forward to the All Ireland play-off series in the hope of emulating the achievements of a previous all-conquering generation.
That particular goal will no doubt focus the minds of the Omagh players next week but this evening it was all about the here and now and celebrating a sensational league success that had been half a dozen or so years in the making.
FULL REPORT AND REACTION IN MONDAY’S TYRONE HERALD