OWEN Roe Leckpatrick may have come up short against Coalisland in the U18 Grade Two Minor Championship final on Friday but the future shines as bright as ever according to manager Tommy Kelly.
Two late Coalisland goals sealed a 2-12 to 0-12 victory at Killyclogher and Kelly admits that Owen Roes’ performance on the biggest stage was uncharacteristically error-strewn.
Final nerves maybe, but Owen Roes can be proud of their efforts and their impressive run to the final bodes well for the future, with Ryan Devine and Conal McCormack bouncing back from Friday’s defeat to play their part in the seniors’ win against Drumquin in Sunday’s Division Three clash.
Kelly commented: “I don’t know if it was nerves or not and you have to give credit to Coalisland too.
“Stephen O’Neill hit it on the head when he had a training session with us last week, he said the team that makes the least mistakes will win and they made less mistakes than us basically.”
He added: “The goals came late on, there was always a three-point gap that we couldn’t make up. We missed a few early scores that we couldn’t make up, that was crucial and we couldn’t get going again.”
Kelly’s tenure as minor manager has officially come to an end but don’t be surprised to see him leading the line for a fourth year.
With six of his starters on Friday still eligible at U16 level, he also believes that we won’t see the best of his current crop for another couple of years.
“Well I took it for three years and this was my third year. I enjoyed it that much that I’d like to stay on but I’ll discuss that further down the line.
“The players were gutted and we had to get them motivated again. Two boys started on the senior team and they won against Drumquin and the rest are all out training with the reserves.
“The team will come to maturity in maybe two years time. U16 starts now in the next four weeks so they’ll learn from that.”
FULL REPORT AND RECATION IN TODAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE