NHL Division 3A: Sligo stun Tyrone
The penultimate weekend of the NHL Division 3A league didn’t disappoint for any neutral fans, and certainly not for any Monaghan and Sligo fans. Longford welcomed Monaghan in a game that the visitors had to win, while Tyrone were joined by league leaders Sligo who were looking to seal promotion with a third win in a row.
Tyrone 0-13 – 1-18 Sligo, O’Neill park, Saturday 12th June, 2pm.
Sligo are up! They have secured promotion for the second year in a row, seeing out a brilliant win against perhaps their nearest rivals. Tyrone are used to scoring goals this year but were shut out by the Sligo backs. The usual dangermen of Damian Casey and C.J. Mcgourty were kept quiet by Niall Feehily and Rory McHugh, with McGourty only scoring one from play and Casey only scoring one from play with the rest from frees. It took Sligo about a half an hour to get going, Gerard O’Kelly Lynch keeping them within touching distance from his own frees. The full forward also sealed the win for the champions with a late goal and a point. He has been one of the players of the league so far and thoroughly deserves this success after putting in the work for both codes over the last number of years. The game got a bit messy towards the final whistle with Tyrone’s Tiernan Morgan receiving a straight red card in added time. However, that won’t dull Sligo’s celelbrations tonight as they leave Omagh as the winners of Division 3A.
Longford 3-13 – 1-20 Monaghan, Pearse Park, Saturday 12 June, 2pm.
Longford clawed their way back from certain defeat to agonisingly lose out by a single point at full time. It was 1-8 to 2 points in Monaghan’s favour after 21 mins. Joe O’Brien slowly started to bring the hosts back into the game with his accurate frees. Shane O’Brien was shown his marching orders a few minutes later which didn’t help matters, but Longford and Joe O’Brien were back within touching distance at half time, helped along by a Bart Hanley goal just before the break to leave the deficit at one point. It was more of a measured contest in the second half. Monaghan threatened to pull away again but Longford again pulled themselves back from the brink, this time a David Buckley goal frightening Monaghan. A third goal from a penalty wasn’t enough to get them a result and Monaghan walked away with two points on the leaderboard, their first of the campaign. Stephen Lambe and Fergal Rafter had good games for the winners while Hugh Byrne’s first half contribution of a goal and a point was what separated the teams in the end.