Dromore finish off Omagh St Enda's Tyrone title bid
The task of retaining the Tyrone senior football championship title has proved too much for Omagh St Enda's.
Heartened by their success of last year, the team entered last night's semi-final against deadly rivals Dromore anxious to remain in the O'Neill county seat of power but instead were ushered into oblivion by a well-drilled, superbly-focussed St Dympna's side which played to their considerable strengths.
In winning by 1-10 to 0-7, Dromore underlined their no-frills approach relying instead on the craft and vision of their seasoned brigade comprising Ryan McMenamin, Cathal McCarron and Colm McCullagh - the latter had to retire injured - as well as the scoring flair of Niall Sludden and the subtle touches of Eoin McCusker, a nephew of Peter Canavan no less.
By half-time Dromore, even though they missed several scoring chances, had given a substantial hint as to their level of ambition when they led by 0-9 to 0-4, Sludden having by then pocketed four sublime points in a masterly display of finishing for his side.
Yet when Conan Grugan trimmed Dromore's advantage to three points (0-10 to 0-7) with seven minutes to go, he offered the champions a ray of hope but this was extinguished when impressive substitute Fergal O'Neill thumped home the only goal of the game with three minutes to go to book his team's semi-final meeting with Killyclogher.
Killyclogher, as expected, saw off the challenge of Strabane Sigersons without undue difficulty.
James Carlin, Leo Meenan and Aidan Quinn were on target for the winners as they built up a 0-6 to 0-2 interval lead before maintaining their dominance in the second-half.
Tiarnan McCann may have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in Tyrone's colours recently but the manner in which he deployed his experience and scoring touch as the game progressed suggested that he could yet finish 2015 on a high.
Killyclogher were full value for their 1-12 to 0-4 win, although Strabane, under the baton of former Tyrone county board chairman Ciaran McLaughlin, offered robust defiance in spells.
Meanwhile, Trillick proved superior to Greencastle their experience and power proving too much especially in the second-half.
Trillick were unconvincing in the first-half and only enjoyed a two-point advantage at the break (0-5 to 0-3).
But they stepped up a gear in the second-half when Lee Brennan in particular made his presence felt as they won 0-14 to 1-7.
Coalisland also laid down a marker in relation to the title ambitions by beating Donaghmore on a 0-17 to 0-9 scoreline.