LOUGHMACRORY U16s completed a memorable season when they lifted the Grade Two U16 Championship title at the expense of Errigal Ciaran at Fintona on Saturday afternoon.
In doing so they added the title to the league crown that they won the previous Tuesday against Coalisland but they were made to work extremely hard for their latest triumph.
Errigal Ciaran had done their homework on their opponents as they cancelled out their key men and got players behind the ball to make life difficult for Loughmacrory. It was a tactic that certainly worked in the opening period as they took a 1-5 to 0-3 lead to the changing rooms.
Loughmacrory perhaps were suffering the after effects of that league win four days earlier but in the second half they got into their rhythm playing some excellent football to turn a five point deficit into a three point win to seal a deserved success.
Errigal Ciaran centre half forward Ruairi Canavan, who weighed in with all his side’s points on the day, opened the scoring before Eoin Donaghy levelled matters.
Loughmacrory were struggling to make any inroads into a well organised Errigal Ciaran defence while the Dunmoyle lads picked of a few scores from the boot of Canavan. Points from Gareth Donaghy and Eoin McElholm kept Loughmacrory in touch before Errigal Ciaran scored their first goal when Ewan McCabe made no mistake from the penalty spot.
Canavan tagged on a point as Errigal Ciaran greeted the short whistle 1-5 to 0-3 in front and they were full value for that advantage.
A Gareth Donaghy free opened the second half scoring for the young St Theresa’s but Canavan quickly cancelled that out at the other end of the field.
Loughmacrory then got right back into contention when a sweeping move finished with defender Ronan Fox getting in a shot that took a deflection on its way to the top right hand corner of the net past Errigal Ciaran keeper Matt Grimes. Loughmacrory now had their tails up and efforts from Eoin Donaghy and Michael Collins brought them level.
Errigal Ciaran though regrouped and a brace of points from the accurate Canavan left the scoreboard reading 1-8 to 1-6. Loughmacrory though were beginning to play the football that they are capable of and a trio of points from the influential McElholm saw them get their noses in front.
Zach Devine then got a second goal for Loughmacrory but the game was far from over as McCabe converted a second spot kick for Errigal Ciaran.
It was still very much anybody’s game but Loughmacrory weren’t going to be denied the double with Collins having the last say of the game.