MICKEY Harte doesn’t accept that Tyrone’s more direct, kicking style of play, evident last time out against Donegal, is down to the introduction of the ‘mark’ rule.
The Red Hands have capitalised on the new law several times this summer already, with clean catching around the middle (by the Cavanagh brothers especially) from lengthier Niall Morgan goal kicks forming the launchpad for rapier counter-attacks.
Harte though doesn’t feel his side’s more expansive, route one approach can be attributed to the rule change.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that you can trace that back to the mark. I would say that you would trace it back to what is happening on the field. The mark is there, so it be as it is, but I’m telling you for sure that I have never once mentioned the mark to our players.
“So that’s what I think about it and if it turns out to be valuable to us then we will take it but I’m not an advocate of it just because we happened to get five marks last week by Colm Cavanagh. The mark is taken into account now because there are longer kicks but that is not the reason why the kicks are going longer. It is probably more of a reaction to teams pushing up and pressing the kick outs than the mark itself.”
Looking ahead to Sunday’s tussle with shock finalists Down, Harte discounts the notion that Tyrone’s experience of big match occasions such as last year’s Final will give them the edge over Eamonn Burns’ charges.
“In theory that could be true as it is good to have played in intense games like that final in Clones. That should help the players who were involved but also we know the underdog often wins out as well and it is only when that happens that you look back and say that there was some other reason why that happened.
“Retrospectively you can look back and say A, B or C could be a cause of what happened but every game is a new game and every day is a new day and sometimes it is very small things that turn the course of a game and I have seen this many times.”
FULL PREVIEW OF ULSTER FINAL IN THIRSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE
Posted: 11:45 am July 10, 2017