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Hurlers hunting knockout spot

CHRIS Kearns admitted that Tyrone were frustrated and disappointed at losing to Sligo in round two of the Nicky Rackard, but he believes that the Red Hands can bounce back.

They play Louth in the third and final round robin game this Saturday in Omagh, and a win would secure them passage through to the knock out stages of the competition.

“If we play the same way that we did against Mayo in the first round, then we will get a result. We just have to make sure that our attitude is right,” stated Kearns.

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Having opened their campaign with a win over Mayo, Tyrone fancied themselves to beat Sligo – who had won the Lory Meagher in 2018.

Yet the Red Hands were outplayed in the second half, having led by three points at the interval. Kearns played at centre half back but couldn’t halt the charge.

“It was frustrating and disappointing,” he said.

“We talked about it at training. We just have to pick ourselves up and go for the next game.”

“I think that the Mayo game took a brave bit out of us. We were still tired. It was a six day turnaround for us. We got out of it what we deserved. We didn’t play to our potential. It was a game we should have won if it had been our day, and played to our potential.”

Yet even though they lost, their destiny remains in their own hands.

They are in one of the two knockout spots, sitting ahead of Mayo by virtue of head to head results.

They play Louth who have yet to win a game, but need a victory to avoid relegation.

“It is a massive game for us. We just have to look after our own result and make sure we don’t get beat.”

And Tyrone are very familiar with Louth having played them in the league earlier this year. They won by 2-23 to 1-11 that day. Kearns scored a point that day, Damian Casey hit 1-10, and Ryan McKernan scored 1-4.

“They are a big physical team, they will try to hurl too. They have no points at the moment, and nothing to lose. But they don’t want to be relegated. We want to make sure that we win this game.”

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