Ardboe are minor kingpins of Tyrone again after producing a superb performance to beat Trillick in the decider at Carrickmore yesterday afternoon.
The Rossas’ ability to strike for goals at crucial times in the game ultimately proved to be the difference between the two sides at the final whistle and it keeps them on course for the double as they are also through to the league final.
This was an outstanding team display from the winners with every player doing their bit to win a championship medal.
They fought for every ball as though their lives depended on it and the fact that they produced at least five top class blocks on the day demonstrates the commitment that they had.
Trillick did come with a late rally but by that stage the blue and orange ribbons were already on the Cup and the Loughshore lads will be worthy representatives for Tyrone in the Ulster tournament at St.Pauls.
It was the St.Macartans who looked the livelier side early on with centre half forward Lee Brennan landing two fine points inside the opening three minutes.
Ardboe left half back Olly Mallaghan then opened his side’s account from a placed ball and after Michael Cassidy equalised with a superb long range free with the outside of his boot they grabbed their first goal.
It came in the seventh minute when a high free into the danger area from Cassidy was brilliantly fisted to the net by the inrushing Michael Lynn.
Brennan responded with a Trillick point but at the end of the opening quarter the Rossas got their second goal when a mistake by St.Macartans keeper Joe Maguire allowed a speculative shot from full forward Michael O’Neill sail all the way to the net. Cassidy tagged on a point and after both sides had missed chances the winners struck for another major. Mallaghan played the ball long to Cassidy who fisted it to Oisin Devlin and the midfielder supplied a stylish finish. Trillick corner forward Peter Gallagher had the last say of the first half but it was Ardboe who were well in control at the short whistle leading 3-3 to 0-4.
Trillick came out for the second half in more determined fashion and after only twenty seconds their full forward Daire Gallagher made up for a couple of bad misses in the opening period when he split the posts with a fine individual effort. Ardboe corner back Danny Brady, who was superb throughout, ventured forward to score a good point before Daire Gallagher replied in the next attack for Trillick.
Daire Gallagher was beginning to make an impact for Trillick and he scored again to close the deficit further. Mallaghan lifted the siege with another point from a placed ball before Lynn hit an outstanding point from out on the wing. Ardboe then cut open the Trillick defence again with Lynn setting up Mattie Laverty but the latter failed to control the ball when a goal looked to be on the cards.
Brennan then scored another fine individual point but going into the final quarter it was goals that the St.Macartans now required. Any hopes that they had of a late comeback ended six minutes from time when Ardboe scored their fourth goal. Once again it was teamwork that got them the score with Peter O’Neill, Brady, Laverty and David Mulgrew combining for Lynn to finish in style low to the bottom left hand corner of the net. Two minutes later the same player almost completed his hat trick but this time he blasted over when he had two players either side of him.
The winners rang the changes as they gave players a run out and while Trillick came with a late surge it only served to put a slightly better look on the scoreboard. Centre half back Cahir McCann drilled a shot into the roof of the net and Brennan and Daire Gallagher added late points but it was Ardboe’s day as they emerged victorious.