TRILLICK and Killyclogher will meet in the Senior League Final after each came through their semi-finals against Carrickmore and Errigal Ciaran respectively on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds accounted for Carmen, the defending champions, 0-18 to 2-8 at a baking hot Donnelly Park.
It was the hosts who swept into an early four point lead, the deployment of Matthew Donnelly on the edge of the opposition square providing them with an effective attacking outlet inside. He knocked over two ‘marks’ in quick succession, while Lee Brennan capitalised on a poor Carrickmore clearance to fist over a score, and the Garrity brothers linked up, with James teeing up Simon to pop over a point.
Trillick endured two scares in the opening period, with their supporters hands on mouth when skipper Rory Brennan twice fell ackwardly when challenging for possession in the air. Thankfully he was able to recover on both occasions and resume hostilities.
Gradually Carmen settled into the contest and two dead-ball conversions by Lorcan McGarrity (mark) and Daniel Fulleron (free) halved the deficit.
Yet it was the home side who continued to play the more cohesive and purposeful football, Liam Gray providing a solid platform around centre field. Quality efforts from James Garrity and Lee Brennan showcased the zip and pace with which they were going about their work.
Wing-back Niall Allison injected some much-needed life into the Carmen attack when he burst through to rifle a score, following a swift exchange with Martin Penrose, who was showing well for the ball.
By the twenty minute mark, Trillick held a double scores advantage, 0-8 to 0-4, Donnelly (mark) and Brennan adding to their advantage. Lorcan McGarrity responded at the other end, curling over a top notch point.
The visitors were in need of a fillip and it was Penrose who provided it in the 23rd minute when he wriggled his way through with typical tenacity and drilled a low shot past keeper Ryan Kelly.
Experienced duo Donnelly and Brennan responded in positive fashion, raising white flags for the hosts, but in the run-up to the interval it was Carmen who had built up a head of steam.
Sub Ruairi Loughran stormed up the middle to drill a score, while just on the short whistle corner back Sean Loughran sent a spectacular effort over from long range. (Half-time Trillick 0-10 Carrickmore 1-6)
There was almost a dramatic start to the second period when a razor-sharp exchange between Liam Gray and Simon Garrity set Ryan Gray clear but his venemous drive crashed back into play off the crossbar.
In the third quarter Carmen laboured as an attacking force, with too many moves breaking down. In contrast Trillick looked much more clinical up front, and scores from Liam Gray, Lee Brennan (free) and Ciaran Daly handed them a four point cushion.
McGarrity and Daniel Fullerton did manage to convert a couple of frees for Carrickmore, sandwiching a pointed free from Brennan, who had eight scores to his name on the day.
Trillick were three to the good heading into the last five minutes when the visitors struck for another major to restore parity. McGarrity’s crossfield free was plucked out of the air by Caolan Daly, who marauded through and fired a fine goal low past Kelly.
The outcome was right back in the melting post now but it was Trillick who dug deep down the closing stretch. Ciaran Daly floated over his second point, before Brennan knocked over a free. And just after Carmen lost the services of midfielder Cormac Munroe to a second booking, the Reds sealed the deal courtesy of scores from Simon Garrity and Brennan (free).
Meanwhile two two long range pointed frees by former Tyrone player Tiernan McCann secured a place in the Division One Final for hosts Killyclogher at Ballinamullan on Saturday against Errigal Ciaran, 0-10 to 0-9 the final scoreline.
Both sides enjoyed plenty of early ball although the first score, from Darragh Canavan came from distance twelve minutes in. The pace had slowed by the time Peter Harte collected Joe Oguz’s long ball and tagged on the subsequent ‘mark’. A tidy touch and move from Darragh Canavan sent Tommy Canavan in for a third point and it remained 0-3 to no score until the 24th minute when Bradley dropped over Killyclogher’s first point.
A fine pointed Canavan free sailed over from the left extended the visitors lead but credit to the St Mary’s who finished the half well. Bradley pointed from a tight angle on the right and cut the half time deficit to a point by the break
Within thirty seconds of the restart Bradley had levelled things while Harte and Conal McCann then traded points. Already this was a better game and it got better for Killyclogher when half time substitute Ben Armstrong pointed a quality effort.
In a much improved half points from Canavan and Oguz nudged Errigal ahead again and as they carved out further chances McCrory cracked his shot off the base of Oran Grimes post. Within a minute Oran McCann did well to create himself space for another equaliser, putting the sides level for a fourth time.
An exchange of points between Conal McCann and Canavan had them level again as the game went into the final ten minutes. Chances came the way of both teams. Errigal pressed but it was Tiernan McCann who dropped over a free to get the hosts back in front.
When Bradley was fouled making a mark, McCann again delivered with a mammoth point to leave two in it. Although there were chances for Errigal, they only register the one as Canavan pointed from a tight angle to leave a one point margin, although time ran out as Killyclogher advanced to the League Final.
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