Killyclogher and Trillick set for another tight tussle in Tyrone SFC
LCC Group Tyrone SFC quarter-final: St Mary's, Killyclogher v Trillick
When they met at the same stage last year, a penalty shoot-out was required to separate Trillick and Killyclogher.
This evening’s Tyrone SFC quarter-final pairs them up again in the tie of the round, a high stakes eliminator with all sorts of possibilities at O’Neills Healy Park.
Killyclogher feel they can reverse the result of last season’s gripping encounter, but they may have to go the full distance to do so.
Trillick come into the game on the back of a comfortable if unconvincing win over Galbally, while the St Mary’s had to battle to the end to get the better of Donaghmore by a single point.
Mark Bradley’s 1-3 haul was crucial to that narrow victory, and he will be a key man once again, with Mark Hayes and Conall McCann adding scoring power for the men from Ballinamullan.
The Reds, who were eventually beaten in last year’s final, also on penalties, have their own ace finisher in Lee Brennan, who also hit 1-3 in the opening round, along with Simon and James Garrity and Ciaran Daly in a potent attacking unit.
They will face stiff resistance from Tiernan McCann, Gabhann Sludden and John Rafferty, but Trillick could have the edge in the central region, where Mattie and Richie Donnelly and Liam Gray operate.
Killyclogher manager Mark Henry has made it clear that his side will have to step up their performance levels to get over this one.
And Trillick boss Nigel Seaney insisted that significant improvement on the first round display is vital for this evening’s challenge.
“First round games are notoriously nervous affairs to just get through, and I was happy enough to get through,” said Seaney.
“I thought we weren’t efficient enough throughout the game. I didn’t think we were at the level at all, to be honest with you.
“We certainly need significant improvement. I thought there were too many basic errors in that game from us, and I certainly wouldn’t be happy with the amount of errors.”
The Trillick manager has had a good look at this evening’s opponents.
“Killyclogher have a lot of experience, they have some young players, they have pace, they have experience. They’re very similar to ourselves, they have been up the track several times, and we need to improve,” he said.
With a number of young players breaking into his team, he is hoping that improved depth will have a positive impact.
“You have to add depth to your squad where you can, and then you have to trust the squad.
“That’s what we have tried to do this year, we have tried to add a bit of depth to it, we have tried to rotate players.”
“Those players that we brought in have played well all year.
“We had three debutants. Daniel Donnelly made his debut in Senior Championship, Sean O’Donnell made his debut, and Ciaran Daly had his first start.”