Trillick stay the course to pick off gutsy Edendork

Trillick's Stevie O'Donnell gets away from Niall Morgan of Edendork during Saturday's Tyrone SFC quarter-final in Carrickmore     Pictures: Oliver McVeigh
Trillick's Stevie O'Donnell gets away from Niall Morgan of Edendork during Saturday's Tyrone SFC quarter-final in Carrickmore Pictures: Oliver McVeigh

Connollys of Moy Tyrone SFC quarter-final

Edendork 1-10 Trillick 0-14

THE construction and the finish for Trillick’s winner succinctly boiled down the reasons why they overcame Edendork in a gripping tie on Saturday evening.

Neil Kilpatrick’s foul on Daniel Donnelly might have looked clumsy but Trillick had runners pouring forward everywhere. Had Kilpatrick not fouled him, the Reds would probably have walked the ball into the net.

The energy they brought to a 62nd minute counter-attack was a theme of the second half. Trillick never quite capitalised on the opportunities they had but the numbers they committed and the pace they brought to the break was impressive.

There was very little to separate the sides and perhaps we’re engaging in scoreboard analysis, but the winners did just have that tiny bit more zip and quality across the whole pitch.

Lee Brennan had been buzzing about all day and when it came to the big kick, he settled up, stole a few yards and used the wind beautifully to draw in a 62nd minute winner.

His quality was a match for that of Darren McCurry. The Edendork man’s shoot-on-sight policy in the first half inevitably led to a few misses but there were a handful of brilliant scores mixed in with it.

Stevie O’Donnell and Daley Tunney were doubling up on him at times, with Rory Brennan picking up Niall Morgan, who played the deeper role for most of it.

McCurry and Morgan combined for a brilliant first half goal that was the perfect illustration of using the kick pass on the break.

Trillick were caught upfield when Liam Gray kicked into Conn Kilpatrick’s block and McCurry spied the 60 yards of space and Morgan screaming for the ball, which was delivered on a plate.

He shrugged off Brennan and gave Joe Maguire no chance with the finish, putting Conleith Gilligan's men 1-2 to 0-2 ahead.

It would be the 56th minute before Trillick would lead again, having been in front just once until then.

Trillick manager Jody Gormley        Picture: Oliver McVeigh
Trillick manager Jody Gormley Picture: Oliver McVeigh

They had the wind at their backs for the second half of a sodden afternoon that was still spared what Storm Agnes threw at Carrickmore last Sunday.

You felt that had Jody Gormley’s side been able to get ahead, they might have picked the game off but Edendork stuck to it manfully.

When Trillick finally did nudge 0-12 to 1-8 in front, Conn Kilpatrick came short, won the kickout and ate up 70 yards to win a free that Morgan pointed to instantly level again.

The game felt destined for extra-time by then but when they were presented with a softish 63rd minute opportunity, Morgan’s range was going to be tested.

48 yards out, into the wind on a wet field, he had an unfortunate John Terry moment. His left foot gave way under him and the ball scooted out to the right and wide.

“You only have to win by a point when the final whistle goes,” said Trillick boss Jody Gormley.

“There’s no extra prizes for winning by three or four. Those games are a good test of character.

“Edendork asked different questions of us [than Loughmacrory had]. I think we answered the questions that have been asked.”

Nobody would have minded another 20 minutes. The first half was of real high quality. It dipped a bit in the second, perhaps the tiredness kicking in from two gruelling games each in a week.

What Edendork’s county men brought to the party, Richie Donnelly stood up and matched.

Trillick found themselves behind again with a minute to go when Donnelly landed a huge equaliser from 40 yards.

That teed up Brennan to kick the winner and push Trillick into a semi-final against Dromore or Dungannon.

Losing Mattie Donnelly and Mickey Gallagher to injury had softened their place in the championship conversation but they have fringe men that few clubs anywhere could match.

Seanie O’Donnell, Daire Gallagher, Ciaran Daly, Ryan Gray, they have the build and athleticism of central players. For a lot of clubs those men would be wearing six or eleven, but Trillick have the luxury of having them on the wings.

Gray kicked a brilliant score from right in front of the Edendork dugout against the wind in the first half, although the St Malachy’s management and subs weren’t in the least bit convinced that it had gone over.

That could have been a big call but Sean Hurson’s decision to disallow a Lee Brennan score from a 45’ because of a square ball infringement that didn’t impact the play. Mostly, the Galbally whistler contributed to the flow of the game by letting it roll.

Trillick have had enough tight games go the other way on them in recent years to have earned whatever it is that’s got them through to another semi-final.

It’s a dangerous pursuit to go writing them off.


Edendork: D Mallon; C Mallon (0-1 mark), J Donnelly, D Maneely; B Cullen (0-1), N Kilpatrick, J Ferguson; C Kilpatrick, H Óg Conlon (0-1); F Nelis, N Morgan (1-3, 0-3 frees), S Corr, D Conway; J Fearon, D McCurry (0-4, 0-1 free)

Subs: S Donnelly for D Conway (57), C Cullen for J Ferguson (57)

Trillick: J Maguire; Stevie O’Donnell, P McCaughey (0-1); D Tunney; Seanie O’Donnell, R Brennan, D Gallagher (0-1); R Donnelly (0-1), L Gray (0-2, 0-1 mark); C Daly (0-1), N Donnelly, R Daly (0-2); D Donnelly, L Brennan (0-6, 0-4 frees), J Garrity

Subs: C Garrity for N Donnelly (47), D Kelly for J Garrity (63)

Referee: S Hurson (Galbally)