18 May 2022

FLASHBACK: St Patrick's Maghera's defeat Omagh to land first ever Ulster senior title

Goals from Laverty and Harbinson pave the way for Maghera win

FLASHBACK:  St Patrick's Maghera's defeat Omagh to land first ever Ulster senior title


St Patrick's Maghera.......2-8
Omagh CBS.....................2-2

Goals from Liam Harbinson and captain Eugene Laverty was enough to secure a MacLarnon title for St Patrick's Maghera against Omagh CBS at Coalisland.

It was Maghera's first year in the senior competition, after the school was formed seven years earlier.

St Malachy's Belfast were crowned as MacRory champions in the second game of the double header. Earlier in the season, Maghera ran them close in a challenge game earlier in the season.

Managed by Sean 'Spud' Murphy, the Derry men were back-boned by Laverty and Mickey Moran at midfield, stated various press reports after the game.

Behind them, sat a solid half back line of Frankie McCotter, James Crilly and Kenny Bradley, whose second half covering was superb, and a forward line which displayed the ability to combine in their approach to scoring.

Maghera were well drilled in the arts of the game. They knew when to hold the ball, when to pass and when to use the long delivery. Had the attack taken the point chances which came their way they could have doubled their final tally.

Laverty elected to play with the wind at their backs and after hitting the first two points of the game, a defensive error allowed Omagh in for a goal.

Before the break, Maghera were back in the game with a goal that began in their defence. Frankie McCotter cleared a dangerous Omagh attack. Mickey Moran gained possession, who in turn passed to Fintan McCloskey.

Pat O'Neill took over and after drawing out the Omagh defence, he released Eugene Laverty. The Lavey man ran through in the clear before hammering to the back of the net past Tyrone senior team's reserve 'keeper Ciaran Harte. The goal helped Maghera go in at the break on level terms, 1-2 each.

After the interval, skipper Laverty won the throw-in and after speeding up the wing, passed to Pat O'Neill, who shot over the bar – giving Maghera into a lead they never lost.

Liam Harbinson had a goal ruled out for square ball but made up for it shortly after for a neat finish. He was a noted soccer player and after dribbling the ball through the heart of the Omagh defence, he slotted past Harte.

Fintan McCloskey and Brendan Kelly scored points for Maghera but Omagh hit back. After an error in the Maghera square, after Peter Finn's long ball, Omagh dangerman Joe McGrade fired an unstoppable shot to the net.

Only a goal separated the teams, 2-5 to 2-2, but Fintan McCloskey's burst up the right wing relieved the pressure.

Brendan Kelly pointed a free, followed by a Moran effort from long-range point eased the pressure before Laverty's point on the final whistle saw Maghera finish strongly.

MAGHERA: Hugh Cudden (Glen), Liam McGurk (Magherafelt), Packie McGuckin (Cargin), Frankie McCotter (Kilrea), James Crilly (Glen), Kenny Bradley (Ballinascreen), Eugene Laverty (Capt. Lavey), Mickey Moran (Glen), Brendan Kelly (Ballinascreen), Vincent Conway (Ballinascreen), Fintan McCloskey (Banagher), Pat O'Neill (Cargin), Liam Harbinson (Moneymore).

OMAGH: Ciaran Harte (Carrickmore), Willie McKenna (Augher), Ollie O'Neill (Omagh), Matt Hackett (Omagh), Steve Kernan (Omagh), Liam Maxwell (Omagh), Peter Finn (Kesh), Joe Nicholson (Omagh), Joe McGrade (Trillick), Frankie Bradley (Omagh), Hugh Crawford (Omagh), Michael Harte (Carrickmore), Martin Harte (Ballygawley).

Full feature in this week's County Derry Post, including interviews with Kenny Bradley and captain Eugene Laverty

READ ALSO - Maghera's midfield maestro.  Eugene Laverty interview....

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