The 2023 league season finally came to an end at Healy Park on Sunday when Trillick defeated Carrickmore in a hard fought and very close Division One league final on a score of 0-8 to 0-7.
This was as tough and tight a game as Trillick have faced all year and while the Reds will receive most of the plaudits for their achievements their opponents deserve great credit also for what they brought to the contest. The win sealed a historic double double for the Reds as they added the league title to their championship win earlier in the season and made it back to back league titles as well.
The sides were level on four occasions in the first half and tied at the break 0-4 apiece. Daniel Donnelly created a half chance for a Trillick goal inside the first two minutes before Ryan Gray opened his team’s account on six minutes. Carrickmore were warming to the task however and with Johnny Munroe and Ruairi Slane pulling the strings scores from Rory Donnelly and Brian Conway put them 0-2 to 0-1 ahead.
Lee Brennan levelled things on twelve minutes before veteran Martin Penrose put Carrickmore in front again. With two minutes of the first half remaining Brennan tied the scores once more before a Daniel Donnelly point had Trillick ahead with thirty minutes on the clock. Carmen dug deep and showed considerable maturity to create a scoring opportunity for Cormac Munroe to leave the scores level at the break 0-4 apiece.
The second half was a mirror image of the first with exchanges remaining tough and hard and defences very much on top. Lee Brennan gave Trillick the perfect start with a point after fifteen seconds of the second half. Chances were few and far between but Danny Fullerton managed to convert a free on eight minutes and the sides were tied again.
Trillick moved ahead again following a glorious point from the boot of Richard Donnelly but they suffered a significant blow when full back Peter Mc Caughey was forced to leave the field after picking up what appeared to be an ankle injury. Mc Caughey had been outstanding up until then and Trillick had to reorganise to cope with his absence.
As the game entered the final quarter Lee Brennan converted a twenty metre free to make it a two point game and with less than ten minutes remaining in such a tight game that lead felt considerable. Danny Fullerton pointed to make it a one point game as the play swung from one end to the other. Two minutes later it was a two point game again as substitute Simon Garrity fired over when under pressure.
Carrickmore piled forward in search of the scores they needed to take the game to extra time. Another Fullerton point gave them hope but Trillick held them at bay and when the final whistle sounded the Reds celebrated a 0-8 to 0-7 win and with it secured the double.