THE Tyrone U17s will finally get their chance to fulfil their Ulster Championship quarter-final when they take on Donegal this afternoon, and coach Conall Lavery says his overriding feeling is one of relief for the players.
Scheduled to get underway in May, the Ulster Minor Championship was subsequently shelved as a result of the GAA’s blanket ban on matches, which spanned a four-month period between March and July.
The action recommenced as the pandemic came under control, but when cases started to rise again, the Irish Government decided to introduce a Stage Five lockdown just days before Tyrone’s rescheduled clash with Donegal was set to go ahead back in October.
The GAA responded almost immediately by postponing all underage matches indefinitely, so Lavery is relieved that this promising young Tyrone team will finally get their chance to strut their stuff on the big stage.
“I was very disappointed for the lads when the game was called off a few months ago.
“The management team has been around for a couple of years and had got to experience being part of the championship matches, so we just wanted the lads to get their opportunity to play at that level.
“At that stage I was starting to think it mightn’t happen. It’s good for them to get the opportunity to take on Donegal no matter what way it goes.”
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE