Wednesday 22 November 2017

Trillick return to top of tree with help of Brennan

Trillick 1-9 Killyclogher 0-11

Former greats Trillick staged a spectacular return
Former greats Trillick staged a spectacular return Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former greats Trillick made a spectacular return to Tyrone football's top table, winning the county title in their first season back in senior football.

The newly promoted Reds edged out pre-match favourites Killyclogher in a tense decider at Healy Park, with teenager Lee Brennan hitting the winning point.

The game was played in front of almost 8,000 spectators and was, unsurprisingly, dominated by defensive strategies, with both sides operating with banks of cover, often with 13 men behind the ball.

Trillick hit the jackpot after just 13 seconds with a Brennan goal, but St Mary's did succeed in finding openings for Tiernan McCann, Mark Bradley and James Carlin to fire over points.

Trillick kept their noses in front with a couple of Daire Gallagher scores, but Dermot Carlin fired over his side's sixth point.

Tyrone defender Carlin used his experience to avert a couple of dangerous situations, executing a text-book block on Brennan, and got forward to shoot an inspirational point, bringing the sides level in the 24th minute.


That was his side's sixth point, coming from six different scorers, but Conall McCann's second long-range free gave St Mary's the lead for the first time on 25 minutes.

They were 0-7 to 1-3 to the good at the halfway stage, but Trillick were back in front by the 40th minute, working the ball patiently through the hands for veteran Niall Gormley to curl over a gem.

McCann was the man tasked with tracking the surging runs of Trillick centre-back Rory Brennan, and limited the effectiveness of the flying raider.

But they won the frees that Lee Brennan converted, and at the end of the third quarter, Mattie Donnelly edged Trillick into a two-point lead.

Fergal Donnelly and Ruairi Kelly were defensive rocks, pushing St Mary's back and turning over possession, but they were level again by the 51st minute when defender Gary Wallace got forward to score.

They were to be all square for the sixth time before the end, but two more Brennan frees edged it for the club from the county's western frontier.

SCORERS - Trillick: L Brennan 1-4 (4f); D Gallagher 0-2; M Donnelly, R Donnelly, N Gormley 0-1 each. Killyclogher: C McCann 0-3 (2f); M Bradley 0-2;  L Meenan, T McCann, J Carlin, D Carlin, G Wallace,  T Flanagan 0-1 each.

Trillick - J Maguire; S O'Donnell, R Kelly, G McKenna; N Donnelly, R Brennan, F Donnelly; R Donnelly, E Gormley; M Donnelly, P O'Kane, S Kelly; N Gormley, L Brennan, D Gallagher. Subs: D Kelly for McKenna, S Gormley for S Kelly, D McDonnell for F Donnelly.

Killyclogher - S Fox; M Swift, D Gorman, G Sludden; G Wallace, D Carlin, E Bradley; C McCann, N McFadden; T McCann, J Carlin, A Kelly; L Meenan, M Bradley, E McFadden. Subs: T Flanagan for J Carlin.

Ref - J McElroy (Aghaloo).

Irish Independent

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