Gormley: Trillick can stand up in Donnelly’s absence

By Barry O’Donnell

TRILLICK manager Jody Gormley insists that the Reds have sufficient quality in their squad to prevent their season going off the rails despite the absence of talisman Matthew Donnelly.

With the Tyrone star tearing his cruciate knee ligament at the recent Kilmacud Sevens, he is ruled out of action for the rest of the year at least, meaning the St Macartan’s will have to venture onto the championship stage next month without their most influential player.

However on Saturday night Trillick accounted for the Division One leaders and near neighbours Dromore 0-9 to 0-8 in the league, with the side displaying no lack of experience, quality or spirit.

Gormley, in his first season at the management helm of his native club, has been pleased with the response of his charges throughout the campaign to date, though acknowledging that Donnelly’s injury is a massive setback.

“It goes without saying that Mattie is a very important player for Trillick. He is a good leader to have about. Despite the fact he is injured he still hasn’t missed training but there is a responsibility on other players to step up.

“I think you can see that. There is a number of players who have got their opportunity this year and are doing well and progressing.

“We have a lot of boys out training, around 50, so there is strength in the panel. By right you don’t get a senior jersey for Trillick if you don’t earn it so anybody who plays is worth their place.”

Trillick fought back from a three point half-time deficit at the weekend to claim the derby triumph. Gormley was satisfied with their turnaround in the second period, with the likes of James Garrity and Lee Brennan pitching in with some vital scores.

“We were disappointed with the way we had played in the first half. But Dromore are a very good team, they are not top of Division One for nothing.

“It was scrappy but there was a fair breeze out there. Dromore made good use of it in the first half. They worked some very good scores. We made a few errors early on and gave them a few easy scores. At the other end of the field we didn’t take our chances in the first half.

“Against the wind it was difficult and they had the same difficulty in the second half. To be honest I thought their last kick went over the bar and it was a draw which would probably have been a fair enough result.”

Trillick are defending Senior League champions having sealed the title last season but there is no doubt where Gormley’s priorities lie right now.

“Tyrone football is always about the championship and we still have a lot of room for improvement in our remaining league games. We have a lot of work to do in the next six weeks, Loughmacrory (championship opponents) are going very well.”

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