#DOCSport winter catch-up

Throughout November and December there was a variety of sporting events across the local region, but as 2016 came to an end, amongst the usual array of soccer, GAA and Basketball, there was one unique sporting achievement which stood out.

We’ll start with the usual collection of Fermanagh and Western fixtures, and over the last few months a couple of Omagh derbies have been the standout matches. Neighbouring clubs Strathroy Harps and Strule United played each other for the first time in the league in front of a bumper crowd at the Omagh Lesiure centre. The scoreline finished 3-0 to the Harps with goals coming from Darren Teague, Patrick Nugent and a half way line strike from Damon Teague, as Seamus Fanthorpe’s team claimed the bragging rights and a vital 3 points in their quest for a 3rd Mercer league title. A month later, Dunbreen Rovers and Mountjoy United met at the same venue, and again the crowd were treated to an entertaining match, as visitors Mountjoy recorded a 5-3 victory over their neighbours.

Elsewhere, the year closed with a notable win for Lisballew, who defeated Irvinestwon Wanderers in a twilight game at the Bawnacre centre in Irvinestown. The mercer league champions Lisbellaw registered a well-earned 2-0 win over their erne counterparts with goals coming from Paul McGrath and goalkeeper William McFrederick who astonishingly scored from a kick out.

Away from the football pitches, Omagh Thunder’s winning ways continued when they welcomed the Queens team from Belfast, which coincidentally included Omagh native and former thunder player Michael Mills. The game produced a tight encounter across all four quarters, before the work rate of Aidan Bradleys side proved decisive in the dying moments, with the Omagh side sealing a 69-63 victory to continue their unbeaten league campaign.

With the GAA season finally wrapped up, The Teamtalk Mag charity football match took place in Gardrum Park. The match consisted of the Tyrone ACL Division 1 champions Dromore St Dympnas and a Teamtalk select of both Teamtalk All Star winners and nominees who were managed by none other than current Tyrone GAA manager Mickey Harte. As a spectator it was amazing to witness the game played in high competitive spirits, particularly from the Teamtalk All Stars, who produced a team effort to claim the new Myles McCann memorial cup in its first year of the competition. It was a very well organised event which will no doubt continue to dominate post GAA seasons for many years to come.

Despite this fine array of competitive sport on offer, however, it was a different side of sport which rightly took centre stage in December, with one event in particular proving to be one of the most emotional yet inspirational events I have ever covered since I started up the DOCSPORT page. The inspirational Kyle Moore amazingly ran over 350 miles across the roads of Northern Ireland, raising awareness and funding for his brother, Billy Caldwell, who is currently in Los Angeles waiting to receive surgery regarding his epilepsy. While following Kyle’s journey through Facebook live I got to cover his last day from the Drumquin road to the Omagh Courthouse, where he had started 12 days previously. Kyle’s run, throughout which he literally carried the weight of his brother, billy, on his back, was a remarkable example of a man pushing himself to his limits, and throughout his last day many people filled the streets of Omagh to congratulate him on his immense achievement and how far he was prepared to go to help his younger brother’s cause.

Congratulations once again too to all the teams and individuals who gained success in the last month of 2016! I would like to wish everyone a happy new year as we look forward to covering many local sports in 2017.

"On 9th December 2016 8.00am, one brother's journey of hope will open your eyes, and hopefully change the life of his younger brother, Billy , forever "