What is the story with Tyrone clubs' woeful record in the Ulster championship? 11 months ago

What is the story with Tyrone clubs' woeful record in the Ulster championship?

Tyrone clubs have a woeful record in Ulster.

It's an incredible statistic that, of the 52 Ulster club championships that have been played since the dawn of the competition in 1968, only one Tyrone club has ever won. That club is Errigal Ciaran and although they've won it twice, first in 1993 and last in 2002, they've never won an All-Ireland and the point stands that, for the clubs of one of the proudest football counties in the country, this is a gross level of underachievement.


Dromore became the latest flops with their loss to Fermanagh's Derrygonnelly Harps in the first round of the Ulster championship at the weekend and in dropping out of the race early, they join a long list of first fence fallers. 2019 champs Trillick were also dumped out by Derrygonnelly at the quarter final stages while in 2018, Coalisland Fianna were beaten by Crossmaglen.

The ineptitude of Tyrone clubs on the provincial stage has been a hot topic on The GAA Hour this year with Colm Parkinson coming to the conclusion that, while the Tyrone championship offers entertainment like no other - there have been ten different county champions in the last ten years - the standard is just not up to that of neighbouring club championships.

"Yes, they have an outstandingly exciting championship," said Parkinson on Monday's show.

"One that we all like and one that, amazingly, 8-10 teams could win it. But the standard isn't great. Discuss."


Errigal Ciaran's Peter Canavan celebrates a point during the 2002 Ulster club semi-final win over Ballinderry.

Lee Costello is a Tyrone man and he was raring for a discussion.

"In Dromore's defence, they didn't put up a bad account of themselves. Derrygonnelly Harps are criminally under-rated in my opinion as well. Obviously, Dromore are reliant on Emmett McNab for his scores and he had to come off early so that was a huge blow for them."


If a Tyrone team wants to make a push," he added, "you're going to need to see a team winning two county titles in a row, at least, and getting that experience and going back into Ulster then. It's always these large gaps before a team gets back in again which can't help."

It has previously been claimed that, given the competitiveness of the Tyrone championship itself, the champions find it hard to focus on Ulster. But Parkinson had his mind made up.

"I don't buy that. Derrygonnelly are no Crossmaglen or no Slaughtneil. This is Tyrone clubs not being able to beat the Fermanagh champions. I don't accept the point that Tyrone footballers are happy just to win Tyrone. Tyrone footballers are lunatics. They're probably the most driven players, win-at-all-costs players that I've ever come across, they're mad, they're winners.

"That filters right throughout club football in Tyrone. It borders on killing each other they're so competitive. So there is no way I can accept that Tyrone clubs come out of Tyrone, now they're representing the whole of Tyrone, and that they don't come out bald-headed to win an Ulster title for their county.  No way."