Back in May few would have predicted an Omagh vCarrickmore County final.
At Healy Park this Sunday the O’Neill Cup will be heading to new pastures for the next twelve months.
When it comes to Senior titles, the men from Carmen stand out on their own, topping the list with no fewer than 15 to their credit.
Under the guidance of former Country star and Club player Brian Gormley Carrickmore seem to be peaking at just the right time after what can only be descri bed as a ‘sub standard’ year by their own high standards.
Their league form has been inconsistent and in the opening two rounds of the Championship, against Eskra and Augher, they looked anything but championship contenders.
However, and worringly for their opponents Omagh, Carrickmore upped their game significantly against Ardboe in their semi final showing that they are far from a spent force.
Former Tyrone trainer Paddy Tally has been added to the Carmen backroom and this could yet prove to be a masterstroke by Gormley.
Omagh, for their part, will feel right at home this weekend, playing on their home pitch of course.
In recent years they have enjoyed considerable success at underage level and will line out with a host of Inter County stars on their starting fifteen.
The St Endas path to the final hasn’t been easy.
Coalisland had them on the rack in round one but the Omagh men found the resolve late on to come through with three points to spare.
After a comfortable win over Eglish, a meeting with Dromore followed at the semi final stage. Victory here was only secured in the final seconds, a Jason McAnnula goal grabbing victory from the jaws of defeat.
Predicting the outcome this weekend isn’t easy.
Omagh’s last county title came away back in 1988 and ‘home’ advantage is a huge plus.
Carmen will, make no mistake about this, bring all what is needed to the Championship table. They wont be found wanting in commitment or hunger.
This has been the year of the draw in many ways and a replay couldn’t be ruled out. Easy to sit on the fence.
Such was the manner of their victories over Coalisland Dromore, I can’t get away from feeling that Omagh’s name is on the cup this year.
Carmen are masters of upsetting the odds so are dangerous opponents. Omagh by three!