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Trillick Lift Title After Extra Time thriller

Sunday 29.10.2023
Team Talk Mag
Championship Football


Errigal Ciaran went into the Connolly’s of Moy Tyrone Senior Championship on Sunday hoping to claim the title and become the first side in almost twenty years to win back to back O’Neills Cups. Unfortunately for Mark Harte’s side they came up against a Trillick side that was determined to make it a real contest and fight for every inch of ground and every single ball.

Right from the off Trillick put their more illustrious opponents on the back foot as they imposed their game plan on proceedings. Trillick were sharper in the tackle and quicker to the ball. They enjoyed a greater share of possession and therefore created more chances in the first half and went in at the break deservedly ahead. Errigal improved after the break and although they managed to take the game to extra time with a late Oran Robinson point they were far from the Errigal side that demolished Ardboe in the semi final.

In truth they played second fiddle for most of the afternoon to a really well drilled and hungry Trillick team who were rated by many as complete outsiders for the title. The Reds ignored the hype and the opinions of the bookies to win their ninth title with a superb display from the first ball. Seanie O’Donnell, Richie Donnelly, James Garrity, Rory Brennan, Ciaran Daly and Ryan Gray carried the fight to Errigal and helped their side reach the break leading 1-5 to 0-3. Ciaran Daly’s goal was the result of some superb defensive work followed up by lightening fast counter attacking play. Errigal struggled to create scoring chances as Trillick threw themselves at every attack blocking, harrying and tackling with tenacity and conviction. 

Errigal were much improved after the break and in spite of Trillick’s hard work they began to eat into the lead. Points from Ruairi and Darragh Canavan as well as a fine score from the marauding Cormac Quinn had the gap down to two midway through the second half. Points from Ritchie Donnelly and Go Power man of the match Ciaran Daly steadied the Trillick ship but it was Errigal who finished the half strongest with four points in a row from team captain Tommy Canavan, Peter Harte and the match saving score from substitute Oran Robinson.

With the momentum now very much with Errigal they went ahead for the first time in the game when centre back Ciaran Quinn stole forward to open the scoring in extra time. Trillick’s response was immediate and effective as two excellent scores from Ritchie Donnelly had Trillick in front again. This  time the lead would not be lost. Trillick were outstanding in extra time with points from Donnelly, Garrity, Ryan Gray and Lee Brennan ensuring that the O’Neill Cup would be going back to Trillick for the third time in eight years.


Trillick 1-13, Errigal Ciaran 0-13



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