Saturday saw the eagerly awaited clash between Dungannon Tigers and the Legends XI.
More than 40 players took part which is testament to the esteem in which the club is held by both current and former players alike. The Legends held their own for quite a period of the first half with Karle Farquahar, David Tate, Neil Phillips, Paddy O’Kane and Conor McGahan repelling anything that the current team could throw at them.
However a momentary lapse by O’Kane let in Devlin who crossed for Somerville to powerfully head in past Farquahar. The Legends didn’t get flustered and O’Hagan, Adrian Dinsmore, Kelly and McAshea began getting good supply into the front two of Stephen Yeates and Gareth Woodhead. On 25 minutes the Legends got their reward when Simon Devlin upended Yeates in the box for a penalty. Unfortunately Kelly skewed the spot kick over the bar.
All Ireland winner Gerald Cavlan was sprung from the bench and his class was there for all to see, the current Tigers team had to be on their guard as Cavlan’s through balls were causing problems.
As the half drew to a close, a lack of concentration, or perhaps tiredness, saw the new class score two goals through Somerville and Devlin.
Oliver Morgan, Michael Colton, Rory Stringer and Frank Casey entered the fray and Brian Somerville changed allegiances and played for the Legends. The fresh legs certainly had the desired effect and the Tigers found it difficult again to break down the old timers .
However, Eamon Robinson scored to make it 4-0, ironically Robinson was playing for the current team despite the fact that he was the oldest player in either team!
Nathan Martin’s goal drought continued as he missed a certain goal from 3 yards, however better was to follow when Martin was “nutmegged” by centre back David Tate.
Two more goals followed and the Legends Day was compounded when Chairman Niall Murray finally retired when his hamstring went just after he had left defenders Graham Jarvis and David McCrory trailing in his wake. The club would like to thank Referee Joe O’Neill who very kindly waived his match fee.
A BBQ and night of entertainment followed the game. The Legends praised the current crop of players and their level of commitment, ability and fitness. Of course there would be no Tigers team today if it wasn’t for the Legends who shaped, formed and moulded the brand new “Bailey Tigers” team.
The committee, management and players of Dungannon Tigers would like to thank Joe McAree and his committee for the work done on the new facility to allow the club to play at Intermediate level.
On the night Anne Fitpatrick’s barbecue was delicious and the club thanks her for her hard work and once again big thanks to the McAleer Family and in particular Conor and Justin, who ensured that the night was a huge success.
Winner of the one of special edition Tigers jersey was Gareth Woodhead.
Next up this Saturday the Tigers are in league action against promotion contenders Hanover. Kick off is 2.15 pm at the Joe McAree Stadium.
The following Saturday see,s the Tigers at home again in league action against St Marys.