Fox Lodge were unable to make it a Tyrone double on Saturday as they lost a thrilling contest at Newbuildings which went right down to the wire.

Mark Heywood’s brutal 60 which included six sixes helped the Ballymagorry side to an excellent total of 169. With conditions less than ideal, both sides and umpires opted to play on, and in the process served up a game which ebbed and flowed throughout, only being settled in Newbuildings favour off the penultimate ball.

“Having lost out after putting ourselves in winning positions throughout the game is a bitter pill to swallow,” said Fox Lodge captain Aaron Heywood. “But we will remember this feeling and use it as a motivation moving forward.

“The conditions were really difficult towards the end of the game and made it difficult for our bowlers but we were happy to carry on and get finished. However, credit to both teams and umpires for braving the elements and putting on a great spectacle for the crowd - a lot of commitment from all involved.

“Congratulations to Newbuildings, to pull the game back at those later stages they deserve their success. Especially some of their homegrown local lads, I’m sure they have enjoyed their boyhood teams’ victory.”


The conclusion of the Faughan Valley final was overshadowed by the tragic sudden death of Billy Given after the trophy presentations.

Aaron Heywood was talking to Billy throughout the game and was clearly affected when news broke of his death.

“Tragically, the passing of Billy Given has touched many within the region and none more so than myself and all at Fox Lodge.

“I would personally like to pay tribute to Billy, I sincerely will miss our conversations at the cricket and know I had his full support on Saturday at the end of the game.

“I hope that the family can take some comfort in the fact that Billy’s last moments were spent watching a thrilling game of cricket, the sport that he loved so dear.”

Billy played cricket and football in his native Sion Mills, and in recent years was a keen photographer, with a keen eye for capturing not just the action on the field but the lighter moments off it.

He was laid to rest on Tuesday.