IF tonight’s Intermediate Round One Championship clash between Aghaloo and Aghyaran is any indication, we could be in for an absolutely cracking weekend of football.
This was gung-ho football at its finest – the game ebbed this way and that from the very first whistle, but Aghaloo scored two goals in the closing ten minutes to seal a thrilling 3-9 to 1-8 victory, and it was no more than they deserved.
Aghyaran were unbeaten in the league heading into tonight’s match at Healy Park, but boy were they slow out of the traps as Aghaloo rocketed into a 1-2 to no score lead after literally three minutes of play, the goal coming courtesy of Ruairi McGlone.
Almost inevitably, however, Aghyaran worked their way back into it as they tackling sharpened up considerably, and they actually led 1-6 to 1-5 at the break despite a string of botched free-kicks.
Their captain Ronan McHugh had been sin-binned just before half-time, however, and that possibly galvanised Aghaloo as they came out strong in the second-half.
Scores from the inspirational Conor Mullen and Niall McElroy left it 1-9 to 1-7 with fifteen minutes remaining, and the game’s key score game in the 52nd minute as Ruairi McGlone flicked the ball to the net after some kamikaze defending.
Aghyaran goalie Benny Gallon was left stranded as McElroy pounced for Aghaloo’s third of the night, setting up a quarter-final meeting between the winners of Stewartstown and Greencastle. What a performance and what a night.
Pick up the Tyrone Herald on Monday for an extensive match report