TRILLICK are the Tyrone Senior champions for the eighth time in their history after a superb third quarter display provided them with the foothold to eventualy defeat Errigal Ciaran by 0-12 to 2-4 in the County Final.
The Reds can now add 2019 to the list of previous triumphs which began in 1937 and included a golden era in the seventies and eighties. Now, though, this current crop of players have again written their own piece of history by adding this year’s title to the breakthrough success of 2015.
Team captain, Stephen O’Donnell, lifted the O’Neill Cup from the County Chairman afterwards surrounded by jubilant teammates. Chief among them was Rory Brennan, whose performance in the defence was brimming with tenacity, style, speed and skill.
Only a late goal from a Peter Harte penalty put a more respectable look on the final scoreline for an Errigal Ciaran side which disappointed overall. They have now gone seven years since their last title success in 2012.
But this is Trillick’s victory to savour and the indications were that they were on course from the early stages of this showpiece tie before an attendance of just over 6000 at Healy Park.
Early points from Ryan Gray, Lee Brennan and Michael Gallagher settled them. However, they were rocked when a goal from Odhran Robinson following an error helped put the Dunmoyle-based team ahead, 1-1 to 0-4.
But the standard of play deteriorated subsequently and there were only two more points registered before half-time. Both came for Trillick, edging them 0-5 to 1-1 ahead at the break thanks to James Garrity and Lee Brennan.
Hopes were high that the standard would improve on the resumption and both teams did employ a more attacking-minded approach in that second half. Nevertheless, it was Trillick who held most of the aces when it mattered during that third quarter and they opened up a five point advantage for the closing stages.
Lee Brennan and Matthew Donnelly pointed to leave them 0-8 to 1-2 ahead entering the final quarter. Then further points courtesy of Lee Brennan, Damien Kelly and Lee Brennan ensured that they had one hand on the Cup with time fast running out for Errigal Ciaran.
Peter Harte came close to grabbing a goal for them, but a Richard Donnelly point for the Reds ensured that a late penalty goal for Errigal came too late to make a difference.