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Football: Omagh United begin with a bang

By Colin Speer

Diarmuid Kerr was the toast of Omagh on Saturday evening after his double for the fledgling Omagh United saw the new boys of Fermanagh & Western football kick-off their competitive existence with a defeat of Irvinestown Wanderers at the Bawnacre Centre.

The lively winger settled those opening day nerves after half-an-hour with a tremendous 20-yard drive before clinching victory for Terry Bonner's side with almost the last kick of the game after darting what felt like the full length of the pitch to meet and dispatch a Fergal Murphy corner past the stunned Irvinestown 'keeper.

However, their joy was tempered somewhat with the 21st minute dismissal of Barry Glacklin following a spat with Martin Doherty, who also walked for his part in the same incident.

It was a memorable start to life in the top flight, too, for newly promoted Strathroy Harps.

They kicked things off last Tuesday evening with a memorable Kennedy Cup defeat of champions Enniskillen Town United before doubling up on Saturday with victory over Tummery Athletic in the league.

The Kennedy Cup final, the traditional curtain raiser between the Mercer (League) and Mulhern Cup winners, was settled by a solitary Darren Teague 16 minutes from time and proved that Harps' defeat of Gerry Love's Town in the Mulhern semi-finals was no flash in the pan.

Harps followed that up on Saturday with an explosive 3-2 defeat of Tummery Athletic, a game which at one point descended into an unsavoury 22-man brawl after frayed tempers on both sides.

Although they may have suffered that defeat in the Kennedy Cup, three times league champions Enniskillen Town United reminded the pretenders to their throne - of which there are many - that when it came to the bread and butter of league football, they were still the team to beat with a thumping 7-1 annihilation of Ballinamallard United Reserves, now under the guidance of club stalwart Shane O'Brien.

Elsewhere, Lisnaskea Rovers kicked-off their campaign with an impressive 3-1 defeat of NFC Kesh whilst Ardstraw and Lisbellaw United played out a scoreless draw.

The other scheduled game, Clabby Strollers and Dunbreen Rovers, was postponed as was the entire second round of games last night following a late IFA directive that no other football be played on the same night as the Northern Ireland Under-21 international with Finland, surely an unnecessary ruling given that the game, a friendly to boot, was played in Ballymena of all places!

Belfast Telegraph


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