Trillick produced an outstanding display of championship football in the second half at Healy Park on Saturday evening to qualify for the semi final of the Ulster club at the expense of Armagh champions Crossmaglen.The Reds trailed by two points at the end of a lowing scoring opening period but after the break there was only one side in it as they completely dominated proceedings to kick seven unanswered points to hold their opponents scoreless. The Tyrone champions were full value for their victory with Crossmaglen finishing with fourteen men after Jamie Clarke was sent off in the closing stages.
Crossmaglen opened the scoring in the 8th minute via Clarke and at the end of the opening quarter Trillick were dealt a blow when they had Daniel Donnelly black carded and three minutes later the Armagh champions doubled their advantage from Rian O’Neill free after Odhran Kieran was fouled. Trillick retained possession well and they opened their account in the 21st minute when Daire Gallagher and Ryan Gray combined for James Garrity to split the posts.
In the next attack though Clarke again demonstrated great leadership with an outstanding score from out on the left wing to restore their two point advantage. Trillick though we’re giving as good as they got and midfielder Richard Donnelly kept them in touch with a peach of a point from distance. Clarke then won a free which O’Neill converted to bring the first half scoring to an end. Trillick though had a half goal chance in the 28th minute but corner back Stephen O’Donnell blasted wide off the target after a shot from Ryan Gray had come back off the post.
Crossmaglen introduced Ronan Fitzpatrick into their attack for the second half but it was Trillick who struck first when Sean O’Donnell placed Ciaran Daly for a fine score. Former Tyrone attacker Lee Brennan then levelled matters from a free in front of the posts after Gray was fouled. Trillick now had their tails up and they hit the front for the first time in the contest with Garrity’s second of the night. Oisin O’Neill was wide from a mark for the Armagh men before Trillick moved two clear with an inspirational score from Gray after a quick free from Brennan.
It was all Trillick at this stage and they made it five unanswered points when a great ball from Garrity picked out Gray who turned sharply to score. With ten minutes left on the clock Brennan hit an outrageous point after dummying Aaron Kernan and that was quickly followed by a fine Donnelly score. Things got worse for Crossmaglen in the 55th minute when Clarke was straight red carded for an off the ball incident on Sean O’Donnell that saw the Trillick man having to go off. Crossmaglen’s shooting let them down with seven second half wides to their opponents one. The Tyrone champions will now play the winner of the Kilcoo v Scotstown game in the last four.