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Trillick wary of big test

TYRONE SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL

TRILLICK V COALISLAND

Sunday, Pomeroy, 1.30pm

DESPITE earning widespread praise for their derby demolition of Dromore in the opening round of the Senior Championship, Trillick’s Daire Gallagher derived just as much satisfaction from their follow-up victory over Clonoe last Sunday.

The Reds are now braced to meet reigning champions Coalisland this Sunday afternoon in a mouth-watering encounter which brings together the two form teams of the Championship to date.

A five-point victory over Fianna’s neighbours Clonoe last weekend booked St Macartan’s passage into the last four, two second half goals from Damian Kelly and Niall Gormley handing them sufficient breathing space to emerge winners 2-11 to 1- 9.

Trillick had many quality performers across all sectors of the field at Plunkett Park, among them Daire Gallagher who continues to flourish at the fulcrum of the defence in the centre half back berth.

He was pleased with the nature of the display though acknowledging that Gormley’s late goal came just as the Rahillys were threatening a revival.

“Niall’s goal put a bit of a gloss on it at the finish up. Up to that point it was going right down to the wire. In the last five or ten minutes it was frantic enough with a few scares around our own goal.

“But any day you win in the quarter-final of the Championship it is going to be a good day. We’ll get down to recovery and look forward to next weekend.”

After cruising past fierce rivals Dromore in their much-hyped opener it would have been understandable if the Reds had got somewhat carried away by the buzz among their jubilant supporters. Daire stressed that the squad refused to get caught up in the hoopla.

“Obviously it was nice to get a win in the first round against Dromore and there might have been a bit of external noise floating about afterwards congratulating us because of the local derby factor.

“Dromore are a good young team who will come through before long and we just got the breaks that night.

“But the lads all kept their feet on the ground. It only earned us a passage into the next round and we prepared just as hard for Clonoe in the next round.

“Clonoe are a battle-hardened side in the Championship for this past few years. No team ever gets
it easy against them so this result was just as sweet.”

Trillick made a stunning breakthrough when annexing the O’Neill Cup in 2015 but Gallagher admits that they have come up short since.

“We have had a couple of disappointing exits from the Championship over this past few years in matches we could have won. It’s not easy to take when that happens. Thankfully we have the character in the squad and the boys want to bounce back. We just worry about ourselves and work on wee things that haven’t gone our way in previous years. It’s just about trying to correct those mistakes.

“In the Tyrone Championship you can’t rest on your laurels. If you are not on your game any given day you can lose out.”

And given their exciting blend of proven county quality stars in the Donnelly and Brennan brothers, as well as emerging young stars such as the Gray brothers, Gallagher hopes that the signs are positive.

“We have some great young players in Liam and Ryan, as well as others like James Garrity. There was a couple of big moments throughout the Clonoe match when they rose to the occasion.

“Hopefully when they get on the ball they are taking the right options and the team can only benefit from that.

“It’s shaping up nicely for next weekend, you will have four top teams going at it. But no matter what team you draw you just have to focus on yourselves, get your analysis right and hopefully you can perform on the day.”

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