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Ulster Club SFC – Derrygonnelly’s McGullion in dream land

FOOTBALL ULSTER CLUB SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTER-FINAL

Derrygonnelly (Fermanagh) v Trillick (Tyrone)

Sunday, Brewster Park, 2.30pm

FRIDAY, September 4, 2015, Derrygonnelly were facing Ederney in a SFC quarterfinal replay in St Mary’s Park, Garrison.

The then Derrygonnelly manager Martin Greene turned to the sub bench in the 52nd minute and brought on 16-year-old Shane McGullion to give the youngster his championship bow.

Derrygonnelly won the game 1-14 to 1-5, before defeating Devenish in the semi-final and romping past Roslea in the final, 3-16 to 3-7.

It was a final where Shane McGullion was the talk of Fermanagh after two expertly taken goals. A kid in his first-ever senior county final.

“It’s what dreams are made of,” says the humble McGullion.

“I was probably a little bit nervous that day against Roslea and I didn’t do a big pile apart from hitting the two goals at the right time.

“It really was a brilliant day and it was a brilliant feeling for myself, I am playing with a phenomenal group of players and I suppose we are creating history for ourselves with each game.”

McGullion has an astounding record for Derrygonnelly Harps which remains intact to this day. He has still to play in a losing Derrygonnelly team in the Fermanagh Senior Championship since making his debut that balmy Friday evening in Garrison back in 2015.

It’s a record that McGullion has never really thought much about.

“To be honest hearing that record is something quite new to me.

“I really just enjoy my football. I try and work hard in training. I try to get on the ball as much as I can during match days and I just put my body on the line for Derrygonnelly.

“It’s all I know really, from a young age going down to Sunday morning football to playing for teams at underage level and progressing to the senior side. I am really enjoying my football and why would I not? We are winning championship titles and are progressing in the Ulster Club Championship.”

McGullion, now a 21-year-old, works in the Lakeland Forum and the Bawnacre as a leisure attendant. He is also with the Fermanagh senior panel and acknowledges it can be tough going at times.

“Yeah its great getting to represent the Fermanagh senior side. Ryan [Mc- Menamin] has came in this year and he has spoken to all of us. Fair play to him. He is giving us as much time as we want with the club and hopefully that can continue on well into 2020.”

Derrygonnelly have only two wins at Ulster Club level. The first was against Armagh Harps in 2017, with second the 2-10 to 0-12 victory over Cargin in this year’s preliminary round.

McGullion knows the Harps have their work cut out if they are to score a third victory when they face Trillick this Sunday.

“First and foremost to win the Tyrone Senior title takes some doing, it probably wasn’t the prettiest final against Errigal Ciaran, but I’m sure Trillick didn’t care one bit.

“We know plenty about Trillick, and I’m sure Trillick know plenty about Derrygonnelly. I would have gone to school with a lot of the Trillick players, while our big name players and the Trillick big name players are all fine county players. The Donnellys and Joneses of this world need no introductions.

“Trillick will be favourites, they would have seen us against Cargin and will look to exploit any weakness in our side. As Fermanagh County champions it is up to us to put in a performance at Brewster Park and not let ourselves, the club or the magnificent support that we get at every game down.

“It won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I feel that we can group together well and when our chances come our way like they did against Cargin then it’s really important we take them.”

“I try to get on the ball as much as I can during match days and I just put my body on the line for Derrygonnelly.”

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