Moy had a point to spare over Clarkes at a quagmire O’Neill Park on Sunday, winning 1-12 to 2-8. The win was Moy’s first, while the hosts suffered a second loss in succession.
The O’Neill Park surface had definitely bore the brunt of of the weekend’s horrendous weather, and it made for a very sloppy game bereft of free flowing football. The game was a slow starter, the first score recorded after 16 minutes.
A lot of speculation surrounded county captain Sean Cavanagh regarding the knee injury he has been carrying leading up to Tyrone’s championship clash with Donegal.
Despite being on crutches up to as recently as a fortnight ago, Cavanagh started the game wearing number 13, although moved out to assume his more natural midfield role.
The first real opportunity of the game came when Patrick Quinn’s flicked a high ball against the crossbar. Moy’s Eoghan O’Neill opened the scoring, and Adam Mallon replied for the Clarkes with a routine free.
Minutes later Quinn found himself with the goal at his mercy, but he drove the ball over for a point on 19 minutes.
Donal Jordan added a point for the Moy, and the same player then grabbed the first goal of the game, acrobatically flicking the ball over Daire Martin to put Moy three in front.
A number of Tyrone minors were catching the eye, with Moy teenager Ryan Coleman’s direct running a highlight of the first half. Likewise for Dungannon, Lorcan Mallon was sprung from the bench and immediately made an impact, notching a point.
Sean Cavanagh had a sluggish start to the game, but showed the first glimpse of his class as he registered a point, despite the best efforts of Dungannon full back Peter Muldoon.
Cavanagh added another from a free, while at the other end his Tyrone team mate Padraig McNulty spurned a great goal chance when he blasted a shot straight at Moy Stopper Nathan Brady from close range. Another Mallon free set the half time score at 1-4 to 0-4 to the Moy.
Dungannon started the second half better, McNulty scoring from long range. The Clarkes then put together a great move through the hands, and Jonathan Toal was at the end of it to chip over an easy score. Moy responded, Eoghan O’Neill finding space to get his second point of the day.
The game had come to life, both teams a lot more willing to take the fight to the other. Mallon brought the game to a point with his third pointed free, before Daniel Grimley reacted to a poor kick out to carry down the line and draw the game level.
Colm and Sean Cavanagh had started to to exert a lot of influence on the game, the duo popping up all over the field. Sean then launched over a huge free, and gave a wry smile to Daniel Grimley who obviously tried his best to put the Tyrone attacker off.
Eunan Deeney extended the Moy lead to two again, before Cavanagh, Sean Hanna Thomas Conlan and Declan Conroy were all target in what was a real purple patch for the Tir na nOgs.
Six points down, Dungannon really needed an answer and it came from substitute Paul McElroy. The Portadown soccer player was making his first appearance from the Clarkes his season following the wind-up of the Irish League, and his first touch resulted in a goal after a trademark surging McNulty run.
Cavanagh in turn responded with another big free from the left wing. Dungannon then were awarded a penalty as McNulty, in an effort to take the game to the Moy, was hauled down by Sean Cavanagh. McElroy was trusted with the kick, and his soccer skills were up to scratch as he buried the ball in the bottom left corner to set up a thrilling final few minutes. Moy held out though to record a much needed win.
On Friday night, Dungannon will face their first major test of Division One as the host Dromore, while Moy travel to Strabane.