Owen Roes captain expects a tough battle at Healy Park

Owen Roes captain, Brendan Boggs, in a tussle against Strabane.

THE upwards trajectory on which Owen Roes have embarked over the last eighteen months will ensure they approach their opening Intermediate Championship round tussle against Aghaloo in good spirits, team captain Brendan Boggs believes.
After well over a decade battling to escape the lowest tier of Tyrone football, the Glenmornan outfit are now firmly in the Division Two play-off mix to potentially secure promotion into the senior ranks. It would be a fantastic achievement given this is their first year back at competing at Intermediate level.
However of more immediate concern to the O’Neill’s is Friday’s engagement at Healy Park against Aghaloo, with Boggs insisting that their ambitions right now extend no further than a victory tomorrow night.
“Making the step up was a big thing for us being a team that hasn’t played in Intermediate football for thirteen/fourteen years. The target at the minute is to try and win the one game on Friday against Aghaloo. It would be our first Championship win at Intermediate level in a long time so there is no point looking beyond that.”
The 32-year old skipper has derived plenty of satisfaction from the manner in which Owen Roes have acquitted themselves, facing higher calibre opposition on a weekly basis.
“It has been an encouraging season albeit we had that long wait of ten weeks like a lot of teams to have to contend with over the summer. We are sitting in a decent enough position in the league so for the first year up it’s not too bad.
“Without a doubt there is definitely a difference. It is a faster game and the action seems to go a lot quicker. It is a big step up to what we were used to for many years at Junior.
“It’s a very competitive level from top to bottom. Most teams seem evenly matched. Eglish won the league and we haven’t played them as yet but for the remainder of the teams there is little between them.”
Boggs is expecting a tough test against an Aghaloo side who got the better of them earlier in the season and who are renowned for raising their game come the Championship.
“When it comes to Championship football Aghaloo definitely have a bit of pedigree. They have a tradition of not only getting to finals but winning them too. I’m sure they’d back themselves to do well this time around.
“We played them third or fourth game out up in Aughnacloy and they turned us over by five or six points.”
Fielding without the services of Tyrone star Cathal McShane, Owen Roes returned to competitive action with a defeat against Stewartstown last week, though Boggs was just relieved to get a run-out.
“It was definitely good to get the game. Obviously we looked a bit rusty and made mistakes which is to be expected but it was good to get a competitive sixty minutes behind us, especially ahead of the Championship.
“We probably haven’t had Cathal on the side for four months at this stage so its definitely a big plus to have him back for the Championship.”



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