TYRONE have galloped up the inside like nobody’s business in the last few weeks and have earned themselves a chance of a place in the National League Division One Final.
The permutations, for once, are fairly straightforward. Tyrone must beat Galway in their final match this Sunday in Omagh and hope that Monaghan do them a turn by defeating Mayo.
That would set up a mouth-watering Division One decider against a resurgent Kerry the following weekend at Croke Park, which would be a miraculous turnaround after Tyrone’s inauspicious league start.
Last Saturday evening’s seismic 1-14 to 1-11 victory over a curiously flat Dublin was their third league win on the trot and by a considerable distance the most impressive of the bunch.
Mickey Harte’s side were hugely deserving winners on the night as their expansive kick-passing game yielded score-after-score-after-score in their first win over the game’s standard-bearers in six years.
Galway are unlikely to be so charitable at the back with their defensive style of play under Kevin Walsh coming in for repeated criticism from the purists out there, but the Tribesmen are no laughing matter.
They’re claimed two of the last three Connacht titles, have won SEVEN successive matches against their old rivals Mayo and are bidding to reach back-to-back league finals.
Mickey Harte isn’t taking them for granted anyway, musing that the dynamics will be very different this Sunday after their big win over Dublin.
“I think you have to be careful, Dublin was a stand-alone game. It’s a good result and you have to be very happy about it, but you can’t make that a template or a foundation.
“Dublin know that they have got a target on their back and teams want to bring out their best against them. That was our incentive – bring your best out because you’re playing against the best.”
“To be able to do that again against a team that hasn’t got that reputation, that’s a different challenge, so we have see how to deal with that challenge now.”
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE