NEVERMIND Storm Ophelia. There is only one thing set to get north Tyrone quaking by its roots this week and that is the prospect of old adversaries Strabane and Urney locking horns this Sunday in a do-or die league relegation clash.
With the trap door into Division Two opening under the feet of the losers, rarely can a meeting between the local rivals have had so much on the line.
However for Sigersons manager Palor McNulty, a man with close allegiances to both clubs, its a scenario which he feels the area as a whole could do without in terms of promoting the sport longterm.
“ There will be a big crowd watching it and it will be a serious occasion for the area. But North Tyrone could be doing with as many teams in Senior Football as we possibly could so it’s unfortunate in many ways that it has come to this.”
Urney came through the Intermediate promotion play-offs last season to secure their berth in the top flight for the first time since 1997 and are desperate to avoid an immediate return to Division Two.
As for the Sigersons, they have been dining now at the top table since 2014 and are equally keen to prolong that stretch into another season. Palor, who stepped into the breach again at Sigersons Park two months ago along side James Friel, acknowledges that both teams have endured frustrating campaigns.
“ It has been a struggle for both teams this season. Results have been up and down, the odd good victory and then some poor defeats. Both teams have been inconsistent to say the least.
“Urney are a very proud club and have battled hard all season. Mickey Rea has been able to get a response from them. They have a few top class footballers as well and will be going out to give it their all this weekend.”
St Columba’s took the spoils during the regular league game back in June 1-15 to 2-9, injury time points from Christopher Bogle and Ronan Lafferty seeing them across the winning line, just when it seemed Michael Logue had rescued the Sigersons with a late goal.
Palor states that if this Sunday’s rematch replicates the drama of the previous encounter, then no-one will feel short-changed.
“ It was a good competitive game and Urney deservedly came out on top. Strabane looked down and out but came back into it and then Urney got the last two or three scores to take it.
“ It was a typical local derby between Urney and Strabane. There was a lot of passion and tough tackling with everyone going all out for the win. That’s what you need in a local derby- both teams putting it all on the line”.
FULL STORY IN TODAY’S STRABAE CHRONICLE
Posted: 4:50 pm October 19, 2017