Boss Seaney hails Trillick after terrific title triumph
Trillick 0-12 Errigal Ciaran 2-4
Despite a brief stutter in the opening stages of this Tyrone final, the name of Trillick St Macartan's will be etched on the O'Neill Cup once again following an assured victory over a disappointingly limp Errigal Ciaran.
The scoreline will show that there was a mere two points between the sides, but in truth there was a chasm as 'The Reds' put an eighth star - each one representing a senior Championship - on their jerseys.
Any passages of impressive play came from Nigel Seaney's men and the manager paid tribute to their levels of composure. They did it the hard way in beating Dromore, Clonoe, Coalisland and now Errigal Ciaran, all clubs who have won senior Championships this decade.
"The Championship is that competitive in Tyrone, you have to respect everybody you meet in it and they are all different challenges and different types of games. You have to have that adaptability to do that," said the former Fermanagh player.
After an impressive opening from Trillick, the game settled into an ugly pattern. With only Odhran Robinson up top for Errigal, marked by Ruairi Kelly with Stephen O'Donnell stationed 20 yards in front of them, Trillick committed everyone else to the attack.
Despite the numbers condensed in one small area, there was an unfamiliar lack of bite to proceedings. On 16 minutes Errigal won their first free, and Trillick had only one themselves.
With no cut up front and a lack of willingness to let the ball inside, Errigal were limited to long-range pot shots which didn't work out as their seven first-half wides showed. They desperately needed Darragh Canavan on the pitch.
Trillick motored to the first three points of the game as Ryan Gray opened the scoring before Lee Breenan was on target, and then fed Michael Gallagher for the third.
Errigal's first score came on six minutes. A high ball inside was broken by Pauric McAnenly and Peter Harte finished over the bar. They caught a huge slice of luck from the next kickout.
Trillick netminder Joe Maguire played a short kickout to Daire Gallagher. He took the return pass and despite team-mates either side of him tried to take on Robinson, who dislodged the ball and tapped to the net in a bizarre sequence of play.
The goal did not cause panic in the Trillick ranks. Seaney said: "You can't let it get into yourself or start panicking. You are always going to come back from a knockback like that, the maturity is in that team now and it showed in fairness."
While Errigal played with the handbrake on, Seaney pushed Mattie Donnelly into the full-forward line. They could then kick ball up and despite the effort of his marker Ciaran Quinn, Donnelly made it all happen and got the first score of the second half.
After Lee Brennan converted a 40m free to put three between the sides on 40 minutes, Errigal eventually put on Darragh Canavan, son of Peter, in a bid to rescue matters.
That he didn't, or couldn't, was a tribute to how Trillick closed down Errigal playmaker Harte. Rory Brennan was by his side all day and dispossessed him twice in the third quarter.
Donnelly caught another long delivery from Gallagher and pointed soon after Errigal ended a 38-minute spell without a score when their young corner-back Cormac Quinn split the posts.
The second Errigal goal came in the final play, a penalty awarded to McAnenly which was converted by Harte.
Trillick will face the winners of the preliminary round clash in Ulster between Fermanagh's Derrygonnelly and Antrim champions Cargin on November 3.
TRILLICK: J Maguire; S O'Donnell, R Kelly, D Kelly 0-1; M Gallagher 0-1, D Gallagher, R Brennan 0-1; R Donnelly, G McCarron; M Donnelly 0-2, N Donnelly, R Gray 0-1; L Gray, L Brennan 0-5, 3f, 1x'45', J Garrity 0-1
Subs: N Gormley for N Donnelly (59m), D McQuaid for M Gallagher (64m)
ERRIGAL CIARAN: D McAnenly; C Quinn, A McCrory, C Quinn; S Tierney, N Kelly, P O'Hanlon; B McDonnell, E Kelly; P McAnenly, P Harte 1-3 1-0 Pen, 1f, 1x'45', R McRory; O Robinson 1-0, Darren Canavan, M Kavanagh
Subs: J Oguz for Robinson (HT), D McDermott for O'Hanlon (39m), Darragh Canavan for Darren Canavan (41m), T Canavan for E Kelly (46m), S McRory for R McRory (53m), T Colhoun for Tierney (58m)
Referee: Eamonn McHugh (Aghyaran)