Tyrone Senior Championship Draw 2020

The winning Trillick team.
Photo: Trillick GAA Facebook

Tyrone champions Trillick will begin the defence of their title in a first round clash with newly promoted Galbally.

It’s a tricky opener for the St Macartan’s against a Pearses team that reached the Ulster Club IFC final in 2019.

Last night’s draw at Garvaghey threw up a number of intriguing ties, including a mouth-watering local derby between Coalisland and Clonoe.

Omagh’s clash with Dromore and the meeting of Killyclogher and Carrickmore are other ties which will be anticipated.

Last year’s beaten finalists, Errigal Ciaran, were drawn to meet another newly promoted side, Pomeroy.

Trillick and Tyrone star Mattie Donnelly is hoping to be back in action following a serious injury for the champions’ defence of the O’Neill Cup.

And he is confident that the emerging talent in the St Macartan’s camp will ensure the squad grows stronger in 2020.

“All we’re really concerned about is getting the best out of the group that we can, and bringing young fellows on each year,” he said.

“If we can do that, then we’ll obviously not be far away, but again if we stagnate and we’re happy with winning it last year, then history suggests that there’ll be a new winner next year in the Tyrone championship.

“So really to give ourselves a chance, we have to try and improve and keep building on what we’ve got there.

“Even at that, you’re only giving yourself a chance, because there’s so many good teams in Tyrone, but certainly, to give ourselves a chance, we have to build on what we have at the minute.”

Trillick won the title the hard way in 2019, facing a top team in each round and coming through tough clashes with Dromore, Clonoe, Coalisland and Errigal Ciaran to win an eighth title.

“It was fantastic year. At the start of the year the championship, as it is with a lot of clubs, it’s in your eye-line, but the draw that we had, to overcome four top teams in Tyrone, it was certainly a very hard-earned county championship,” said Donnelly.

“And that made it even more satisfying when we did come out on top, to know that you earned it by beating four brilliant teams. It was great satisfaction to us boys.

“I was very proud of the way we played in the Trillick jersey last year.”

Meanwhile, Donnelly expressed his opposition to the use of penalty shot-outs to settle championship games.

Trillick were beaten in a dramatic spot kick shoot-out by Fermanagh champions Derrygonnelly in the Ulster Club Championship last November.

“I wouldn’t agree with it as a mechanism to end games, but we knew going down to Brewster Park that day that it was to be finished on the day.

“We’ll not be looking back with any bitterness that we lost on a penalty shoot-out.”

Donnelly felt the tie could have been settled by a replay, given that there was a two-week break ahead of the provincial semi-final.

“It’s all context-based. The two teams that were playing that day had no commitments in the weeks ahead of that game, so you had that two-week window where you could have gone to a replay.

“I suppose it felt very alien to me as a way to lose a gaelic game, and maybe that is the hard bit to swallow, in that it is alien.

“In a few years, if they are to stick with it, it might become second nature, and we’ll not bat an eyelid at it.

“But I feel that there’s potentially other avenues to go down, especially when there’s that window there.

“Obviously there will be cases where you have to finish a game on the day so as to not hold up any other fixtures.

“We essentially haven’t lost a championship match this year, in that the game ended in a draw.”

LCC Tyrone SFC draw

Clone v Coalisland
Moy v Derrylaughan
Galbally v Trillick
Killyclogher v Carrickmore
Loughmacrory v Dungannon
Ardboe v Donaghmore
Errigal Ciaran v Pomeroy
Omagh v Dromore