The Irish News Archive - Sep 14 1998: Omagh lose out but Niall McSorley's fighting spirit shines through in Tyrone final
Tyrone SFC final: Ardboe 0-11 Omagh 0-8
IT was pure symbolism when Niall McSorley ran onto the pitch at Plunkett Park in Pomeroy last night for Omagh St Enda’s in the Tyrone SFC final againstArdboe.
Omagh were already beaten as McSorley, still heavily bandaged around shrapnel wounds to his legs, could only hover close to opponents Ardboe’s goal in the hope of a late winning score.
Pictures of the Omagh player were flashed around the world as he limped on a pair of crutches to lay a bouquet of flowers in memory of those who died in the Omagh bomb.
Omagh St Enda’s had been due to play Donaghmore in the semi-final of the O’Neill cup on the Sunday after the Omagh blast, but the match was postponed and only played 10 days ago when Omagh secured their place in yesterday’s Tyrone Senior county final.
Other Omagh players included Paddy Quinn, a fireman who helped rescue many of the injured from the rubble of the blast.
Gareth McGirr, an Omagh doctor who treated many of the injured on the day of the blast, was also on the Omagh squad.
At the end of a tough, phsyical game Ardboe won the O’Neill Cup 0-11 to 0-8.
One of Omagh’s team managers Frankie Bradley admitted that the decision to play Niall McSorley was loaded with symbolism but insisted that was where the sentimentality ended.
He said: “We made a keen decision that Niall was going to play for the last two minutes no matter what.
“In the dressing room before the match we hoped to do well but in the end Ardboe outplayed us in the second half of the game. That’s football.”
Omagh: P Logue, L Duddy, G McGirr, P Tierney, D McGirr, C McCabe, T McGinn, C McBride (0-4), P Quinn, B Eccles (0-3), B McGinn, D McKenna, K Burns, C Sheridan (0- 1), S Meyler.
Subs: C McQuaid for McBride, N McSorley for B McGinn, M Flannigan for McKenna.
Ardboe: R McIlroy, S Devlin, B Hurl, M Cummings, C Devlin, F Devlin, S Doris, M Coleman, M Coyle, D Coyle (0-2), F McGuigan (0-5), J Cummings, S Consy (0-1), G Wylie, P McIlroy (0-1).
Referee: M Kolbohn Rock.
IRISH champion Tommy Waite has been ruled out of the chance of a British title shot after he fractured his leg in a training run at the weekend.
The Belfast bantamweight was running the roads near his home in the Ballysillan area when the accident happened on Saturday afternoon.
He was first brought to the Mater hospital and then transferred to the Royal Victoria for tests to determine the extent of the break.
He may have to remain in hospital until the bruising and swelling on his right leg subside sufficiently to allow closer examination.
Last night his trainer Gerry Storey Snr revealed that news of an eliminator fight for the 24-year-old Shankill Road greengrocer against Castleford’s Noel Wilders had only came through on Friday to the Northside gym. Just 24 hours later Waite’s hopes for a bantamweight title battle were shattered.
“We had just been told on Friday that Tommy had been nominated to fight Wilders,” said Storey.
“This is a tragedy for him. He has fought hard to get up the rankings and just when he gets his chance this happens. I still can’t take it in.”
Waite claimed the Irish bantam crown with a victory over ‘Sligo Kid’ Vince Feeney in Belfast last December.
He had just resumed intensive training after a summer lay-off but was not due to feature on this week’s Matchroom Fight Night bill.