Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Tyrone kingpins well placed to add to record haul

The race for the coveted O’Neill Cup began in Tyrone with four first round ties in the senior championship, big guns Carrickmore among those progressing.

The record O’Neill Cup winners took on Trillick at Fintona with county attacker Martin Penrose hitting three first half points and Gabriel McCallan also on target as Carrickmore led 0-5 to 0-2 at the break, Richard Donnelly with a brace for their opponents.

In the second half Niall Loughran and Finbar Magill put Carrickmore further in front but Niall Gormley hit back for Trillick before a Eunan McAnespie goal set up a tense finish but the St Colmcilles held on to win by 0-11 to 1-5.

Ardboe staged a rousing comeback to dramatically pip Donaghmore at Edendork.

Shane Mulgrew hit five points and county minor Peter McKenna was on target but Ryan Quinn and John McConville both scored late goals to send the Rossas through to the quarter-finals on a 3-8 to 1-13 score line, Brian McGuigan having notched their first major.

Killyclogher made it through to the quarter-finals when they accounted for Kildress 1-11 to 1-8.

A Damian Kelly goal helped Kildress lead at the break and entering the final 10 minutes they were still two in front but Killyclogher landed five unanswered points to seal victory with Simon O’Neill, Leo Meenan and Mark Bradley among the scores, Emmett McFadden getting their goal.

Coalisland, 2010 champions, booked their last eight spot when beating Greencastle 1-12 to 0-10.

It was honours even at the break with Paddy McNiece, Eoghan Carberry, John McCullagh and Martin Conway among the points.

Sean Warnock put Greencastle in front on the restart but the Fianna hit back with points from McNiece and Plunkett Kane before the former grabbed the crucial goal.

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The Championship season may have claimed managerial casualties in Ulster but over the weekend the highest-profile boss in the country, Kerry’s Jack O’Connor, stepped down from his Kingdom post.

Eamonn Fitzmaurice, who was Under-21 manager this year and a former county selector, is the front runner at this early stage to replace O'Connor.