Why everyone should be tuning in to the Tyrone championship 1 week ago

Why everyone should be tuning in to the Tyrone championship

Every game is a blockbuster event.

Last night, defending champions Dungannon Clarkes were beaten in extra time by Dromore, who overturned an early deficit to end any hopes of Tyrone having back to back champions this year.

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In fact, no team has won the Tyrone championship two years in a row in the past 16 years, a remarkable stat, that highlights just how competitive this county is.

Last year the Clarkes won every game in extra time, and the final on penalties, to claim their first senior title in 56 years. Recent winners before that have been a mix of Trillick, Coalisland, Killyclogher, Omagh, and Clonoe.

There are no real favourites in this tournament, because it is up for anyone's grabs. Not only that, but every game is a thrilling spectacle with so many twists and turns.

Carrickmore blew Omagh out of the water in the opening quarter of their championship tie, only for a Ronan O'Neill inspired Omagh to make a terrific comeback. Carrickmore needed a late goal to seal their victory in the end, which came courtesy of Niall Allison.

That game was followed by Edendork against Coalisland. The former, who were battling (and failed) to avoid relegation in the league absolutely dismantled the Fianna in the first half.

Darren McCurry, Niall Morgan and Conn Kilpatrick were the main men causing havoc, and it looked for certain that a big upset was on the cards.

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That was until injury time, when Coalisland scored two late goals consecutively to ensure victory right at the death of the match. Absolutely unbelievable scenes, and it was only the first round for both of these teams.

Last night's match was equally thrilling, with Dungannon Clarkes playing their fifth consecutive championship match in extra time.

Just to clarify, in the past two seasons, every single championship game that the Clarkes played was a draw at the end of normal time - that surely has to be some sort of record.

Dromore showed fierce heart and built on the momentum they had by overcoming Ardboe in the preliminary round, with veteran Eoin McCusker coming off the bench to hit 0-05 from play.

If you were pushed to put your money on one team however, it would be hard to ignore Errigal Ciaran, who completely destroyed Clonoe in what was the least Tyrone-type championship game of all.

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The O'Rahilly's boasted a side that contained former county stars Connor McAliskey, Declan McClure and Danny McNulty.

They are also managed by Armagh legend Steven McDonnell, but that couldn't save them from suffering a 14-point defeat to Mickey Harte's home club.

Speaking of Mickey, it's actually his son, Mark Harte, who manages Errigal Ciaran, but it's the sons of another Tyrone legend who made all of the headlines.

Peter Canavan's boys, Darragh and Ruairi Canavan stole the show on that day, with Darragh hitting 1-04 and his younger sibling managing an impressive 0-05.

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With teams brimming with talent and every one of them hungry for glory, bolstered by the fact that the defending champs are out and it's anyone's game now, this is going to be one hell of a championship.