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Penrose determined to make up for lost time

By John Campbell

The bitter-sweet sporting experience which has been served up to Tyrone sharpshooter Martin Penrose of late has served to steel him further for Sunday’s vital all-ticket National Football League Division One showdown against Monaghan at Grattan Park, Inniskeen.

Penrose, for so long a peripheral player with the Red Hands, had been settling much more comfortably into the side when he was suddenly halted in his tracks when the yellow card he suffered against Derry was transformed into red last month following intervention by the Central Competitions Control committee.

Yet Penrose had earlier done more than enough during his team’s journey into the Barrett Sports Lighting Dr McKenna Cup final to claim the Quinn Insurance Ulster GAA Writers monthly merit award for January. And when he returns to action against Seamus McEnaney’s side this weekend Aghyaran clubman Penrose plans to make up for lost time.

“I was extremely disappointed to get suspended and miss the game against Mayo,” admits Penrose. “Fortunately the two-week league break coincided with my ban and this meant that I have only missed one game.

“I hope to be picked for Sunday’s tie and I am very determined to help Tyrone to get off the mark in the competition. We have lost our two games to date against Derry and Mayo and we all recognise that another defeat to Monaghan would put us in relegation bother.”

Manager Mickey Harte will now be even more dependant upon his undoubted finishing skills against a Monaghan side keen to make up for back to back defeats against Cork and Galway.

Harte will have Conor Gormley and Justin McMahon back in his defence while Ryan McMenamin is expected to lead the side. Owen Mulligan and Raymond Mulgrew are also back in harness after helping Cookstown to win the All Ireland Intermediate Club title but Joe McMahon is an absentee through suspension.

McEnaney expects to be without Paul Finlay, Stephen Gollogly and Dessie Mone from his starting line-up.

“We have given eight new players in all their first taste of National League Football in the two games we have played to date and when you remember that they were in against real quality sides in Cork and Galway it has been a tough baptism for them,” he said.

“They will be all the better for this further along the line but right now we need a huge effort from everyone.”

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