IT might not have been the number one priority for county big hitters such as Omagh at the outset of the season but that won’t prevent St Enda’s going full out to clinch a rare Senior League title success tomorrow, Barry Tierney insists.
The former county star stepped up with a crucial late goal as Omagh edged out Trillick 2-12 to 2-11 in a thrilling semi-final last weekend at Donnelly Park.
His strike arrived at a vital juncture in proceedings with the Reds having staged a rousing second half fightback to reel in a seven point interval deficit, and leave Omagh on the verge of yet another disappointing reversal.
However Tierney’s fierce goal strike, was followed up by a late winning point from Ronan O’Neill to end what Barry admitted was a depressing sequence of results in ACL semi-finals.
“This was our fifth league semi-final in ten years and it was the first that we won. It is difficult to get to a League Final. We’ve had a couple of years where we haven’t even made the top four so to get to the top four was a big plus. a disappointing Championship you have to give a lot of credit to the boys for not downing tools and carrying on.”
You have to go all the way back to 1990 for the last occasion that a St Enda’s captain got his hands on the Brendan Trophy Memorial Trophy (Senior League) and Tierney insists that victory against reigning champions Errigal Ciaran tomorrow in Killyclogher would provide an upbeat conclusion to what at times has been a frustrating season.
“It’s always nice to be in a final. There is a trophy to play for and we are keen to win as I’m sure Errigal are. They have lifted it a few times now in recent years and have been very consistent in the league, so it will be a tough ask. They won’t want to end the year without a trophy either.”
Tierney felt that in previous years Omagh could have wilted in the face of Trillick’s second half power surge but with two Senior Championships now under their belts, he stresses that they are made of sterner stuff these days.
“This team doesn’t do it easy. We have a tendency to leave the results hanging in the air till the last minute. It comes from winning over the last number of years and having the two Championships, that experience comes with it. In the years before we won those two Championships we might have thrown this match away. That is all down to the experience we have gained.”
Omagh made a disappointing defence of the O’Neill Cup this year, going down in fairly limp fashion to Killyclogher after a surprisingly one-sided derby. Barry accepts that the manner of that loss hit them hard, but he is thrilled to see the side recapture their mojo over the past month.
“Morale was low after that especially getting beat by your near neighbours. Fair play Killyclogher were the better team on the day.
“After that defeat we took a week off and came back just saying we will go for it and go out and enjoy it and see where it takes us. We weren’t going to put any pressure on ourselves. And that is what we are doing at the minute, we are just going out and enjoying our football again.
“I suppose the pressure of being county champions got to us and you can see the past number of years nobody has done the back to back in Tyrone. We have just relaxed and are looking to enjoy our football, we will just see how things go.”