Harte beating strong as Errigal go for title glory
The forgotten man of Tyrone football will step onto a front stage role on Sunday anxious to emphasise the message that he still has much to offer his county.
Davy Harte, an All-Ireland winner in 2005 and 2008, has been conspicuous by his absence from the Red Hands defence for some time now because of a deep-seated groin injury.
A lengthy spell on the sidelines was followed by an intensive rehabilitation programme and now Harte, a teacher in St Patrick’s GS in Armagh, is back to something approaching his best form.
And when he lines out with Errigal Ciaran against Dromore in the Tyrone senior football championship final at Healy Park, Omagh on Sunday Harte will aim to make the most of the opportunity to underline his value to the side.
Club chairman Cathal McAnenly is in no doubt that the experienced Harte can help the Errigal team, last crowned champions six years ago, spike the guns of a buoyant Dromore outfit that have won the title three times in the last five years and will be contesting their fifth decider in six seasons.
“We are facing a massive challenge when you consider Dromore’s track record over the past few years,” reflects McAnenly.
“That’s why we need to have our experienced players like Davy at the top of their game. We have shown to date in the championship that we have a good spirit and plenty of resolve within our side, but it will take even more than this to win on Sunday.”
Harte will be in the half-back line while brothers Cormac and Enda McGinley look certain to form the midfield with Peter Harte the playmaker.
John Devine, who has also won two All-Ireland medals with Tyrone, is still one of the best goalkeepers in the province and wields considerable influence in terms of marshalling the defence.
Errigal Ciaran manager Ronan McGuckin will be pitting his tactical skills against those of his fellow-Ballinderry clubman Paul McIver who masterminded Dromore’s title coup last year.
The two bosses both played for the south Derry club and are now regarded as being among the brightest managers in the province.
Dromore were hard pressed before overcoming Killyclogher in a semi-final replay, but McIver, son of new Derry boss Brian and a schoolteacher in Maghera, can look to a core of experienced players to underpin his team’s bid for what would be a fourth title for the present group of players.
Colm McCullagh, Sean O’Neill, Cathal McCarron, Ryan McMenamin, Ronan McNabb, Eoin McCusker and Shaun O’Neill form the core of a team that will start as favourites for a game that will engender interest outside Tyrone particularly from those teams with aspirations of making their pitch for the Ulster Club championship title.