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11th Nov 2023

Trillick take ‘fight in the dog’ expression very literally in win over Crossmaglen

Lee Costello


Trillick 0-09 0-04 Crossmaglen

Trillick took the ‘fight in the dog’ expression very literally as they came back from behind to beat Crossmaglen in the Ulster Club Championship.

A thick foggy mist wrapped itself around Healy Park as the wet surface and blurry conditions made it a tough environment for a truly exciting game of football to break out.

Crossmaglen looked to be the more comfortable of the two in the first half, as Jamie Clarke got the score board ticking eight minutes into the first half, which was soon followed up by a Rian O’Neill free kick to put their team two points clear.

It took a full 20 minutes for Trillick to get off the mark but the Armagh champions were always able to keep them at bay, with Clarke scoring an incredible point to put themselves two clear, gliding past two defenders before kicking a fine shot from an acute angle.

Throughout the tyrone championship Richie Donnelly was the main man in form, and that continued today as he popped over his team’s second point of the day, but overall it wasn’t the most thrilling half of football.

One spectator who obviously felt that a bit of excitement needed to be injected into this game, was a dog that managed to get off it’s lead, and make its way onto the pitch mid-action, nearly blocking the path of a marauding Aaron Kernan who almost had to side-step his new fluffy opponent.

Trillick came out like men possessed in the second half however, and it only took them six minutes to make everything all square as they upped their intensity, and put serious pressure on the opposition who wanted to play it out of defence.

This is almost typical of the Tyrone champions who have started relatively cagey in all of their games before finding their groove in the latter stages of the game, and having most of their success when it matters most.

Rory Brennan had number six on his jersey, but he was absolutely everywhere for his side, and it’s easy to see why he was captain this season, because his leadership was clear to see.


Lee Brennan found his shooting boots after half time, kicking over an important free, but it was the young half forward Ryan Gray who really put the burners on, kicking two fine points to put his club three points clear.

Lee was then the envy of toddlers everywhere as he threw the most beautiful dummy, before slotting the ball over the bar to double Trillick’s lead, before Donnelly got his second point of the night.

The final nail was hammered into the Crossmaglen coffin when Clarke was sent off for an off-the-ball incident, and disappointingly for the Armagh side, they didn’t manage to score a single point in the second half.

Trillick on the other hand have become the first Tyrone team to win a game in the Ulster Club Championship since 2016.

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