Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 May 2016

Young pups show Red Hands how to hold lead

By Billy Weir

Published 30/06/2011

It was fitting that extra-time threw BBC Northern Ireland's Championship plans into chaos on Sunday afternoon.

The epic Under-21 hurling clash between Tyrone and Donegal meant that the football semi-final between the same two counties was delayed and also meant much filling of time.

So rather than the usual five minutes of doom and gloom from Jarlath Burns and Martin McHugh about Tyrone's inevitable win, Austin O'Callaghan was forced to look for help elsewhere.

And so it was off to the commentary box for words of wisdom from Peter Canavan and just words, millions of them and mostly nicknames, from Mark Sidebottom.

Although when we first went over there was silence - who says wishful thinking doesn't work - and I could be wrong, and if I am I shall retract my comments forthwith, but peeking out from below Mark's jacket appeared to be ET.

I don't mean that the actual ET was sitting on his lap, but his T-shirt looked very suspiciously like our alien chum from the Eighties. I'm guessing a quick phone home for a jacket was required once we had time to fill.

Still, once ET was over it was on with the real game and it was a walk in the park for Tyrone, the old dogs showing they had plenty of bite with Mugsy, Reesy, Hub et al giving the young pups a right savaging.

The problem is when you're getting on a bit it's hard to keep hold of a lead, even with Red Hands, and so the inevitable happened with Donegal snapping back to win and become top dogs.

At least Tyrone didn't get Laois in the qualifiers.

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