Donnelly back with a bang as Trillick win the shoot-out 4 months ago

Donnelly back with a bang as Trillick win the shoot-out

The injury was described as "career-threatening if not managed properly."

Tyrone were preparing for a year without their talisman, a year without Mattie Donnelly. That would have been rough.

In the meantime, nature has healed, his hamstring issue has obviously, subsided and he's back doing what he does best.

Trillick St MacCartan's are headed for a Tyrone semi-final after a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Killyclogher in the quarters and that man Donnelly, the Tyrone captain, played a monumental role in bringing them there.

Lining out at half forward, it was clear from early on that Donnelly's confidence was back and his leg was in good order. He buzzed around the place but another thing was clear too, and it was that the Tyrone champions of 2019 were in for one hell of a battle.

Killyclogher - home of the McCanns - started the brighter and when Mark Bradley, that borderline unmarkable forward when on form, finished emphatically early in the second half, they looked like winners.

But like all champions do, Trillick kept on coming back for more. Lee Brennan danced around the place with his trademark zeal, guile and he kicked points and caused serious problems. Indeed, himself and Mark Bradley went score for score for large parts in Healy Park, Omagh with a watching Mickey Harte sure to have been impressed.

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The clock ticked but neither team could break free and a 53rd minute Liam Gray point for Trillick was the final point of normal time to leave the score at 2-11 to 1-14.

In extra-time, this tight, tense trend continued with Brennan and Donnelly again prominent. Donnelly's second point of the night, a wonderscore from the guts of 50 yards will be remembered.

Brennan levelled up in the second half and the game went to penalties. There were some marvellous efforts, particularly from Killyclogher goalkeeper Oran Grimes and a Bruno Fernandes-esque finish from Conall McCann. Donnelly's too was well put away but it was a save from the Trillick keeper Ryan Kelly which finished it.

For a team who were knocked out in a shoot-out by Derrygonnelly last year, this will have been an important turn-around. Some win for the champs. Some game for the neutrals.