Eire Og captain Martin Hoey heaped praise on his team mates following the Craigavon sides first ever victory over Clan na Gael.
The Ogs had two points to spare over the Blues last Friday night in the Division 2 derby at Davitt Park,
The Pinebank skipper said, “I was pleased the way the boys responded when the Clans got their goal.
“In the past Eire Og teams may have buckled under that sort of pressure but the lads dug deep for the win.”
The post match celebrations spoke volumes about what this result meant to the Craigavon men and while the Clans would be aware promotion and an Intermediate Championship are both attainable. They missed enough chances to win two games and looked likely victors before going behind to a penalty strike.
This derby saw Eire Og swarm back and sprint forward turning defence into attack in a flash. They harried their opponents forcing them to shoot from narrow angles, yet on occasions the Blues tore lanes through the visitors defence but the end product brought groans from their fans who witnessed a host of wides over the 60 minutes.
At midfield the Clans held sway as Dairmaud O’Hagan and Ronan Austin got the better of Conor O’Hagan and Steven Burns. Up front despite having the lions share of possession the Francis Street men struggled they registered just once in the second period when Barry O’Hagan took a great pass from Dairmaud O’Hagan before blasting home on 47 minutes.
Roy McGrath, skipper Marty Hoey, the experienced Dara Edwards and one of the best players on the pitch Daniel Ryan stood out for the Ogs, Despite the defeat two Blues men in particular enhanced their reputations, wing backs Mel Patterson and Aaron Toland attacked the ball at every opportunity.
The teams were level at the break, Clans opened the scoring when Kieran McKendry shot over after two minutes, what followed however set the standard for the Blues for the rest of the game. For a ten minute period before Stefan Campbell shot the Clans second point, six wides were registered, a scenario which galvanised the confidence of the visitors.
The overlapping Marty Hoey opened the Ogs account on 12 minutes with a great strike, but Campbell steadied the Blues to put them two in front eight minutes later. Nathan McConville and Steven Lavery brought the sides level with scores from the Pinebank side, Barry O’Hagan’s first score of the game sent the teams in at the break all square, but not before Stefan Campbell had raced through the Ogs defence, Campbell’s finish to the left of the posts summed up his sides form on the day.
In the opening minute of the second half Dara Edwards had the ball in the Clans net but the score was ruled out for an infringement, On 37 minutes Barry O’Hagan’s goal appeared to put the Clans in a match winning position, that was to be the Blues final score.
Midway through the first half Clans attacker Niall McCann had a goal chance blocked on the line, but this derby had one final twist, five minutes from the end the Ogs were awarded a penalty when referee Kevin McNeice penalised Clans keeper Ryan McGuinness for over carrying and despite the decision being hotly contested, Nathan McConville stepped up to make no mistake.
In what was a frantic finish the Craigavon side had the last say when Ryan Devlin shot over to give the Ogs a famous victory,