A signature win. There is no doubt about that. At times it seemed that Trillick were on their way to a hard-fought victory but the character, belief, and the stepping up of players in the most key of moments meant that Derrygonnelly were not going to be denied. It was a brilliant result for the Harps.

Before this year their record in Ulster had been underwhelming. In four years they had played six times with one win a draw and four losses. Now suddenly in eight games they have three wins a draw and four losses. The graph is going the right way, and that is why Sunday was so important.

Not only was it another tick in the win column but it was against a team that really fancied their chances of going all the way. Trillick would have felt that they had the quality players to rattle Ulster. And they were right. Sport is cruel though and even though they will feel that they should have had the game sewn up in both ordinary time and extra time the reality is that they could not put it to bed.

There has been much made of the fact that the game was decided by penalties. I am conflicted on this. On one hand, and certainly in the inter county game, there is a need for far more games to be decided on the day. It is one of the mechanisms that can be used to shorten the still ridiculously long inter county season and, in that respect, I would be all for finishing games on the day, outside of finals.

When it comes to club football however, I think each competition needs to be taken on its merits and one of the determining factors should be the fixture calendar. There is a two-week break between games in the Ulster Club and to me this means there is time for a replay, with the replay decided on the day if needed.

That is just this column’s opinion however and I have no real gripe either way to be honest. The bottom line is that the rules were known before the game was played and as such no-body can have any real complaints.

The penalties certainly made for some spectacle and it was a shrewd move by the Derrygonnelly management to bring Garvan McGinley back on just two minutes after he came off. He was clearly one of their penalty takers and he delivered, as did every other Harps player.

There is no doubt euphoria among the whole Derrygonnelly club now. Two wins in Ulster and they have serious momentum built up. They now have to consider themselves serious contenders to win the whole competition, and to be fair they probably felt that before the game at the weekend. The victory will have acted as reinforcement.

It also will have woken everyone else up to what Derrygonnelly are capable of. Their win over Cargin, wrongly in my opinion, may have been dismissed by many as ‘only beating the Antrim Champions’. Beating Trillick will bring about a whole new spotlight and with that comes extra noise and the potential for distraction.

That is what needs to be guarded against now more than anything. But Derrygonnelly are well placed in this regard. Both Sean Flanagan and Brendan Rasdale are men who are rooted in the here and now and the reality of the next challenge. They won’t be allowing anything to distract from what Kilcoo represent, and they are also humble and astute enough to know that there are plenty of areas that Kilcoo will look to exploit.

For me Kilcoo are a sterner task than Trillick. I think they will be better defensively and more disciplined in the tackle. During normal time Derrygonnelly converted seven frees from around 11 kickable frees against Trillick. I don’t think Kilcoo will concede as many frees in the semi final.

Now, the flip side of that is that Trillick have a better forward line than Kilcoo. Derrygonnelly were forced to drop Declan Cassidy in as a sweeper in front of Matty Donnelly who was excellent at full forward for Trillick. I felt this move had started to negate Donnelly’s threat inside but there is no doubt his injury was a huge blow to the Tyrone men.

He would have travelled out the field in the second half and been an influence in that sector. Trillick were also dangerous when they won primary possession in the middle third and quickly transferred it to runners from the half back line. Kilcoo will look at that and Derrygonnelly as always will put a major emphasis on their ability to win primary possession in the middle of the field and also the dirty break ball.

It will be an intriguing battle against the Down champions, who in Mickey Moran, have a manager who knows all about getting the most out of his team in the Ulster Club arena. Kilcoo went for Moran to win an Ulster Championship. They will have total belief. But then, so to did Trillick. And so to do Derrygonnelly.