Omagh 1-08 St Eunan's 0-08

Tyrone champions Omagh survived a second-half fightback from St Eunan's to book their place in the Ulster Club SFC final against Derry champions Slaughtneil.

Barry Tierney’s first-half goal at Celtic Park proved decisive, sending Omagh into a 1-05 to 0-05 lead at the interval.

St Eunan’s rallied in the second period as Conor Morrison slotted over to narrow the lead to a point at one stage.

However, Conor McMahon fired over two points to restore a three-point cushion for Omagh, who suffered a sending off in the dying moments of added time when Conor Grugan was dismissed by the referee.

The two sides matched one another blow for blow in the opening 20 minutes.

Ronan O’Neill, whose last-minute goal sealed a first title for Omagh in Tyrone for 26 years, was the arguably the brightest star on show and he notched two points in the early stages.

Lively Cork City player Cillian Morrison, who was making his first championship start for St Eunan’s since 2010 due to his soccer commitments, also registered an early brace of points.

With the score at 0-03 to 0-03, Omagh delicately picked open the St Eunan’s defence when Aaron Grugan swivelled and set Cormac O’Neill into space with only Shaun Patton to beat.

However, in a one-on-one situation where few would’ve backed him, the St Eunan’s netminder made a wonderful save down to his right.

On 21 minutes, with the match ties at 0-04 to 0-04, Stephen Mullan squared for Barry Tierney at the back post but Patton pulled off a wonderful block from point-blank range.

Omagh finally got the goal their inventiveness deserved when centre-back Tierney smashed the ball under Patton to conclude a fine move that involved Justin McMahon, Jason McAnulla and O’Neill on 25 minutes.

That strike ensured Omagh enjoyed a 1-05 to 0-05 lead at the break, although their three-point buffer could well have been even greater.

The opening exchanges in the second half were always going to be highly significant, and after McAnulla pointed, St Eunan’s were fortunate not to concede a second goal.

After Eamonn Doherty was dispossessed coming out of defence by Joe McMahon, Omagh had an abundance of options, but the move concluded with Mulgrew diving down low to deny O’Neill following unselfish play from McAnulla and Connor O’Donnell.

Trailing 1-06 to 0-05, St Eunan’s need a major response.

Their cause was aided by Joe McMahon’s departure with a dead leg and the Donegal champions did erode the deficit, despite losing Mark McGowan to injury.

Successive scores from Rory Kavanagh, Sean McVeigh and Conor Morrison saw them trail by just a single point at 1-06 to 0-08 on 53 minutes, while Cillian Morrison had an effort adjudged to be wide by referee Noel Mooney after consultation with his lineman and umpires.

Omagh goalkeeper Ryan Clarke struggled to find his desired targets from his kick-outs all afternoon, as St Eunan’s started to enjoy their best period in the match.

However, as they pressed, they left spaces at the back and two breakaway scores from Conor McMahon pushed Omagh’s lead back to three points.

Caolan Ward of St Eunan’s and Omagh’s Conan Grugan were both sent off late in the contest in separate incidents as they picked up black cards to add to earlier cautions.

Cillian Morrison had a late effort for a goal that flashed wide in a crowded square, but it will be Omagh who take on Slaughtneil next month in the provincial decider.

St Eunan’s: Shaun Patton; Conor Parke, Sean Hensey, Conor Morrison (0-1); Caolan Ward, Eamonn Doherty, Darragh Mulgrew; Kevin Rafferty, Rory Kavanagh (0-1); Conor Gibbons (0-1), Conall Dunne (0-1, 1f), Sean McVeigh (0-1); Rory Carr (0-1, 1f), John Haran, Cillian Morrison (0-2). Subs: Mark McGowan for Hensey (half-time), Michael Miller for McGowan (53)

Omagh: Ryan Clarke; Hugh Gallagher, Justin McMahon, Stephan Mullan; Ciaran McLaughlin, Barry Tierney (1-0), Conor McMahon (0-3); Joe McMahon, Conan Grugan; Aaron Grugan, Jason McAnulla (0-1), Cathal McCarron; Connor O’Donnell (0-1), Ronan O’Neill (0-3), Conor Meyler. Subs: Cathal McCarron for Joe McMahon (43), Diarmaid Kerr for Ciaran McLaughlin (58)

Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)