Tyrone skipper Shea McGarrity will be chasing his fifth medal in less than a year when he leads the side out against Cork in Sunday’s All Ireland Minor football championship final at Croke Park (1.15pm).
The stocky corner-back was in the Cookstown Fr Rocks team that won the Tyrone, Ulster and All Ireland Intermediate championship titles between October last and March this year before he collected an Ulster championship gong with his county in July.
Now McGarrity is hoping that the Red Hands can step up on their All Ireland semi-final performance against Mayo and make in two minor titles in three years for the O’Neill county.
At one stage in their semi-final against Mayo, Tyrone were seven points adrift and looked in grave danger of exiting the competition. But goals from Richard Donnelly and outstanding substitute Dara Donnelly helped to swing the game back in their favour and they eventually squeezed out a hard-earned victory.
McGarrity is understandably keen that his players should not make it as difficult for themselves on Sunday.
“We can’t afford to find ourselves chasing this game,” he reflects. “Cork may have been stretched by Armagh in their quarter-final and by Galway in the semi-final but they still look a very good team.
“They are big and strong in key areas and they appear to have a few forwards who certainly know how to take scores.”
With goalkeeper Mark McReynolds already ruled out and Thomas Canavan doubtful, Tyrone manager Raymond Munroe is confronted by selection headaches.
Cork boss Brian Cuthbert on the other hand has confirmed his side although he has made, not surprisingly, defensive changes – since his side conceded 5-8 against Galway.
Cork: D Hanrahan; K Fulignati, M O’Shea, A Cronin; C O’Sullivan, T Clancy, J Wall; J Burns, D Cahalane; J O’Rourke, M Sugre, D MacEoin; K Halissey, T Hegarty, B Hurley.