Tyrone minor football team boss Mickey Donnelly saw his side lose a battle but come very close to winning a significant war last year.
The Red Hands fell victims to Monaghan in the Ulster final (4-10 to 2-14) but regained their credibility in the All-Ireland series when they were only pipped by an excellent Mayo side in the final.
It was in the wake of this contest that Donnelly vowed his team would be back this term and with a handsome win over Down already under their belts, they are set to lend further credence to his vow when they renew their rivalry with Monaghan in tonight's Ulster quarter-final at the Athletic Grounds.
Bolstered by several players from last year's side, Conor McKenna leads a Tyrone side that is rich in attacking flair with Lee Brennan and David Mulgrew in particular providing a cutting edge in attack.
Monaghan's all-too-rare triumph last year reinvigorated under-age football within the county with the result that team boss Frank Brady has interesting options at his disposal tonight.
Barry McGinn, David McAllister and Packie Colton can pull the strings within a side that was not quite at full strength during the league but which is capable of testing Tyrone to the full tonight, particularly if they can get off to a good start.
And Antrim will certainly be hoping to enjoy a bright opening when they confront Donegal in another minor championship tie at Clones tomorrow (noon).
The Saffrons looked brisk and sharp in overcoming Fermanagh but manager Sean McGoldrick is wisely not reading too much into this performance given the paucity of opposition his team faced.
He knows that 1992 Donegal All-Ireland winner Declan Bonner will have his side in razor-sharp condition as they prepare to add the provincial championship title to their league crown.