WHILE every club in the county will have gleaned pleasure from seeing Tyrone seal a first Ulster Under-20 crown on Sunday evening, there’s no doubt that for the Gaels of Strabane it had special significance.
Ruairi Gormley carved a niche for himself in the Sigersons proud history when becoming the first club player to captain a
Tyrone team in a provincial Championship decider at the Athletic Grounds.
Yet for the skipper such a landmark would have been tainted if the Red Hands hadn’t secured the main prize but there was little danger of that as his super-charged team roared to a 4-13 to 1-10 triumph over Derry.
Having fallen four points behind at the end of the first quarter, Tyrone produced a dynamic attacking display to obliterate the Oak Leaf challenge, hitting the back of the net twice in each half to run out convincing winners.
Gormley acknowledged that the provincial success would be warmly welcomed around Páirc Mhic Sioghair in Ballycolman.
“It’s good to bring something back to Strabane and to be the Tyrone captain, it means a lot for the club not just myself. I’m happy to do it for them.
“A success like this and I suppose with me being captain will spur other younger ones to become involved.
“It’s a big plus for the club. They have done so much for me too. It’s a massive achievement. It will take a while to sink in, captaining a Tyrone team to an Ulster title, it’s unbelievable for me.”
Though Tyrone enjoyed an inauspicious start to the match on Sunday, when conceding an early goal to a pumped-up Derry, Ruairi was fully confident that his side would regroup and settle into the contest.
“We were four points down after 15 minutes or so which wasn’t great but all the lads knew we would be able to kick-start our challenge.
“We knew we would click eventually and have our purple patch and that is what happened. Thankfully it lasted for much of the game from there on.
“A big part of our game is hunting in packs and our defending was outstanding again once we settled into the match.
“We always believe in tackling with high intensity and you see for much of the match they struggled to get through us.”
FULL STORY IN STRABANE CHRONICLE