Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Happy Harte grabs trophy

Tyrone celebrations were muted after an Ulster final victory that takes them into the All Ireland football quarter-finals.

When you already have three All Irelands to your credit you can afford to be more subdued even blasé.

Manager Mickey Harte wouldn’t necessarily agree, but he was thrilled to have one more trophy for the cabinet.

“In the final analysis it’s all about results and we’re now where we wanted to be when the season began.

“As for the team I would still say we’re a work in progress. We are relieved to be back at headquarters, but we would need to play much better than we did there when we last won in Ulster.

“I always felt comfortable in that we had the winning of the game.

“There were times in the first half when we moved the ball well and took some wonderful scores, but again we always seemed to let Antrim back without being able to finish the game as a contest,” he said.

Endorsing those views Tyrone assistant manager Tony Donnelly said: “The main statistic to draw from this game was that Antrim always kept coming back at us.

“At one stage the margin was down to four points, but you always sensed they badly needed a goal to make a match of it.

“In the first 20 minutes we played as well as we have for some time and I felt that Justin McMahon, Conor Gormley and PJ Quinn really stood out.”

Conor Gormley again a pillar of strength at the heart of Tyrone’s defence was just glad to have negotiated another hurdle.

“We’re in the quarter-final, but there’s till plenty to work on over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

“We managed to get scores at the right time and Sean Cavanagh’s first half goal was a huge tonic.

“Now we can look ahead and will work hard to make sure we’re right physically and mentally for the quarter-final.”

Tyrone captain Brian Dooher was relieved to have got through the game without aggravating a knee injury.

“It was a funny game in that while we played well we were never able to kill Antrim off, but we have to raise our game and maintain a certain standard if we’re to progress.”