THE 2020 season eventually got underway at Páirc Mhic Sioghair on Sunday afternoon as Beragh were the visitors in the opening game played in front of the lowest number of spectators that I have ever witnessed at the venue since the opening of the grounds away back in 1996.
Both sides were well up for the encounter following the long break owing to the Covid-19 crisis, but it was the Red Knights who made the trip back home in jubilant form following a fully deserved win over the Sigersons.
Strabane opened the scoring with a point via a Warner Mullen free kick which was quickly cancelled out as Beragh responded through Matthew McSorley.
The sides then traded a brace of points with Rúairí Gormley and Danny McBride on target for Strabane whilst Oisin Donnelly hit both the Beragh scores. Warner Mullen from a 45-metre kick and Danny McBride from play sent Strabane into the lead but before the interval Beragh replied with scores via Niall Owen and Oisin Donnelly to draw the sides level and it was all to play for after the interval.
The rustiness of the players was evident following the long break, but it did not take long for them to get into their stride although scoring opportunities were scarce in the opening half.
Following the break it was the visitors who asserted their dominance on the game following a fine move all the way out of their defence and their wing half-back Cathaoir Donnelly popped up to hit the only goal of the game with a fine effort that Strabane keeper Tom McDermott couldn’t stop.
Oisin Donnelly followed this up with another fine point from play and these two scores were to prove crucial to the outcome.
Strabane were denied a goal at the other end when substitute Niall McGinley was thwarted by a fine stop from Aidan Franey in the Beragh goal.
Warner Mullen reduced the deficit with a point from long range free kick but Beragh hit back accordingly with fine points from play via Niall Owens and Ben McSorley.
Points from Rúairí Gormley and Ethan Corry drew Strabane closer, but it was the energetic Oisin Donnelly who popped up with another excellent score for the visitors.
The Sigersons lads knew that they were in difficulty and although they added scores from the boot of Rúairí Gormley and Danny McBride it was always going to be a Beragh win with man of the match Oisin Donnelly and Niall Owens firing over late scores to earn the Red Knights a well-deserved brace of points on the opening day of the season in mid-July.
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