Trillick 1-12 Dungannon 1-12
(After extra-time, Dungannon win 8-7 on penalties)
Dungannon bridged a 64-year gap with an emotional 11th Tyrone SFC triumph at Healy Park, winning a penalty shoot-out after a gripping decider that could not be decided with extra-time.
All four of Dungannon's championship ties have gone to extra-time, but this one extended even further, and on an evening of high drama, corner-back Ciaran Barker slotted home the winning penalty after each side had taken ten spot-kicks each.
No club has managed to retain the O’Neill Cup in 15 years, and reigning champions Trillick were unable to break that trend despite a strong start that had them in prime position.
They were five ahead by the 14th minute, with former Tyrone attacker Lee Brennan the man to do the damage.
After converting two long range frees, he ghosted in for a goal, collecting Niall Donnelly's pass to rifle his shot past Daire Martin.
The experience, movement and confidence of the Trillick men set them apart as the challengers, without a county senior title since 1956, struggled to get into the game.
Rory Brennan raided from deep at every opportunity, with Mattie Donnelly always available to link play, but solid defending from David Walsh, Sean Molloy and Mattie Walsh restricted the damage.
It wasn't until the 23rd minute that Patrick Molloy sent over Dungannon’s opening point, and while he added another from a 40 metre free, along with a Dalaigh Jones score, it was Trillick who went in with a 1-4 to 0-3 interval lead.
The Clarkes made a flying start to the second half, with Paul Donaghy firing over a couple of quick points, before Paddy Quinn scored with his first touch.
And Quinn displayed the opportunism of a predator to get in behind Ruairi Kelly to anticipate a handling error as he gathered Donaghy’s searching delivery to plant his shot in the net.
Suddenly the rank outsiders were in front and the prospect of a shock was beginning to look very much a reality.
At the second water break, with a Ciaran Barker ’45 also on the board, they led by 1-7 to 1-5, with Padraig McNulty and Oran Mallon driving them forward from midfield.
Now it was Dungannon who were dictating the course of the game, holding up possession and picking out support runners, but Trillick survived a sticky spell to get themselves back on top.
Rory Brennan was the catalyst with his surges from defence, and younger brother Lee was the finisher, adding two more points, with substitute Ciaran Daly shooting them back in front.
And when veteran substitute Niall Gormley eased them two ahead, Mattie Donnelly dropped back to shore up the defence and help the defending champions see the game out.
But it didn’t work out that way, with Dungannon displaying incredible courage and calm under pressure to craft scores from Ciaran Barker and sub Kiefer Morgan to tie it up at 1-9 each.
They remained deadlocked midway through extra-time, after Lee Brennan and Daly had nudged the holders two ahead, only to be pegged back by Morgan and Donaghy.
Super-sub Quinn fired over a glorious score three minutes from time as the Clarkes went back in front, but another free had Trillick level and a historic penalty shootout beckoned.
Dungannon: D Martin; C Barker (0-02, 1f, 1 ’45), D Walsh, C Devlin; D O’Hagan, S Molloy, M McKearney; O Mallon, P McNulty; D Jones (0-01), M Walsh, R Jones; L Mallon, P Molloy (0-02, 1f), P Donaghy (0-03, 2f).
Subs: P Quinn (1-02) for P Molloy, K Morgan (0-02, 1f) for L Mallon, K Barker for S Molloy, C Corrigan for O’Hagan, B McNulty for O Mallon, L Mallon for R Jones, C McKee for D Jones
Trillick: R Kelly; S O’Donnell, R Kelly, G McCarron (0-01); M Gallagher, R Brennan, D McDonnell; R Donnelly, L Gray (0-01); M Donnelly, N Donnelly, R Gray; J Garrity, L Brennan (1-07, 0-6f, 0-1 ’45), S Garrity.
Subs: D Gallagher for O’Donnell, C Daly (0-02) for N Donnelly, D Kelly for McDonnell, N Gormley (0-01) for S Garrity, McDonnell for M Gallagher, D McQuaid for J Garrity, G McKenna for D Kelly
Referee: S Meehan (Glenelly)