Omagh County PS are the soccer kingpins of the local primary schools following their penalty shoot out final victory against defending champions Holy Family in the annual McDonald’s Sixes indoor soccer tournament held at the Station Centre last Friday.
The County Primary posted their early promise finishing second in the initial league series of games when all the schools played against one another to determine a seeding position for the knockout phase of the tournament.
In fact it was St Conor’s who were emerging as the tournament favourites, finishing top of the league, unbeaten in all their games. Omagh Integrated PS and Holy Family PS were also in the frame as contenders, finishing as joint third.
First up in the knockout phase was Holy Family PS against Gibson PS. A Ryan Jackson penalty for Holy Family ousted the Old Mountfield Road seat of learning, following a tense 1-1 draw. McClintock PS fell to a solitary Ben Kelly strike for St Mary’s, Killyclogher to set up a Holy Family vs St Mary’s eliminator.
Eventual player of the tournament winner, Holy Family’s Michael Murphy, sent the Brookmount Road team through to face neighbourhood rivals St Conor’s in the semi-final following his early penalty strike. County Primary and Omagh Integrated faced off the in other semi-final.
It went to a penalty shoot out after a 0:0 nail biter. Kyle Williamson drilled home the winning score to send the County Primary through to the final, where favourites to meet them were St Conor’s PS. Alas, it was Holy Family who dashed their hopes again in a penalty shoot out as both teams could not be separated after normal time, William Lowe’s sweet strike sending the defending champions through to contest another final.
Omagh County Primary and Holy Family had drawn their earlier league encounter so the stage was set for another classic duel and that is exactly how it turned out.
Josh Short from County Primary was their creator who probed and threatened the Holy Family gain line time and again, but the Holy Family defence held firm. Holy Family’s Michael Murphy carried a similar menacing presence but McElvey’s goal line could not be breached. The atmosphere was tense. Who would blink first?
Both defences remained impregnable. It would require a moment of magic or an unforced error to break the deadlock.
To the relief of both managers the final whistle sounded. The McDonald Sixes would be decided by a penalty shootout.
Arms locked around comrades, both teams lined up at the halfway line to take their five individual penalties. After two strikes each, it was still honours even.
Then County Primary went one ahead and when Adam Jones crashed the ball to the net for his side’s forth consecutive goal, the Campsie Road squad could not be caught as they erupted with joy to claim their second McDonald’s Sixes title.
The crestfallen Holy Family players relinquished their title but not without an heroic performance.