History 1 of 3

1. History 1

As President of Omagh Academicals Rugby Football Club it is my pleasure to welcome you to our club website

The club played our first game of rugby against Enniskillen at St.Angelo on 13th September 1952 and unfortunately lost 5points – 3points.Captain on that day was Dai Watterson who with his wife Elaine owned the Royal Arms Hotel which was the meeting place for the Accies in the early years and they were great supporters of the club. Dai is a currently one of two Honoury Life Members.

During the 56/57 season Billy Beattie, fondly well known to rugby enthusiasts throughout Ireland as “The Beat” organised the first of several Oversees Tours to France. Opposition on that day was Racing Club De France and we won 6-3 with another club stalworth Biro Kerr scoring two tries. Over the years we have had several successful Tours with another planned to Canada in 2011.

Our present grounds of 22 acres were purchased outside Omagh at Coneywarren during the 66/67 season and after a generous donation by the Mellon family in America was aptly called The Thomas Mellon Playing Fields. Any Club will not thrive without the energy. Support and time of the Officials, players, supporters, coaches and alikadoos and we have been fortunate to have had many over the years to enable us to build the Clubhouse and create such a successful playing atmosphere.

Success on the pitch started in 64/65 season as Finalists in the Junior Cup and winners of the North West League, continuing during the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties culminating with our first All Ireland League game as a Senior Club on November 22 1997 against Creggs which we won 8 points to 3 points. I had the honour to be Captain of quite a successful 3rd XV in the 70/71 season and can report that last season our 3rd XV were continuing with that success. Our 1st XV are currently rebuilding with a young side and I have no doubt that we will shortly be contesting once again in Junior Qualifying League One. We continue to expand and build on our successful youth section and I especially thank all the coaches. organisers and parents for their support as this is where our future lies.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our many Sponsors, especially our current main sponsor O’Donnell and Ellis for their support over the years whether it be direct sponsorship for a club section, a team, advertising boards, team kits or pre match lunches.

Finally I would extend a warm invitation to any visitors who are in the area, any locals who would like to join and support the club, previous players who may have drifted away and indeed anyone who wants to make new friends to come along to The Thomas Mellon Playing Fields.

Derick Rainey


2009 - 2011