STRABANE have been pitted against 2015 champions Trillick in the draw for the first round of the Tyrone Senior Football Championship, which was held on Tuesday night at Garvaghey.
The Sigersons were dumped out of last year’s championship by a rampant Dromore and will go in as outsiders against Nigel Seaney’s Trillick, who are backboned by Tyrone foursome Mattie Donnelly, Richie Donnelly, Lee Brennan and Rory Brennan.
Strabane have fond memories of their last competitive encounter against St Macartan’s – a 2-10 to 1-12 league win back in October. If they repeat the trick in the heat of championship battle, they will advance to a quarter-final clash against the winners of Coalisland and Galbally.
Top flight new-boys Urney, meanwhile, face a stiff examination of their own in their first-round clash against Pascal Canavan’s Errigal Ciaran. Former Tyrone ladies manager Mickey Rea pilots Urney’s first senior championship campaign in two decades, which was memorably secured in a make or break play-off against Eglish in November.
While opponents Errigal are not the force of old, they will be expected to advance to a quarter-final clash against the winners of Carrickmore and Edendork.
At least two of the county’s heavyweight contenders are set for an early exit from the O’Neill Cup race after being paired with tough opposition in the opening round.
St Enda’s, back under the stewardship of Paddy Crozier, would have hoped for a more routine opening assignment this time around, after losing out to Clonoe in a first round replay in 2016, but in a rematch of the 1998 County Final they must tackle Loughshore giants Ardboe, now managed by club legend Brian McGuigan.
No doubt there was also similar groans emanating out of Gardrum Park as Dromore were pitched into a right royal battle with the Rahilly’s, in a repeat of the 2011 decider. That was St Dympna’s last Tyrone SFC triumph and one more they will be among the teams fancied to go all the way this term, though a first round collision with Damian Cassidy’s charges isn’t ideal.
Elsewhere in the first round draw reigning champions Killyclogher, still under the management of Dominic Corrigan, begin their defence of the title with an intriguing match-up against Tyrone and Ulster Intermediate kingpins Pomeroy, newly promoted to the senior ranks this season.
In the Intermediate Championship, newly promoted Castlederg will tackle last year’s beaten IFC finalists Derrylaughan in the first round, while there is a tasty derby match up between Kildress and Loughmacrory.
Local bragging rights will also be up for grabs around north Tyrone in a couple of the Junior Championship first round tussles as Glenelly meet Owen Roes and Clann na nGael go head to head with Newtownstewart.
FULL DRAW IN TODAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE
Posted: 12:10 pm March 9, 2017
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