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Red Hands confident of gaining revenge

By John Campbell

Tyrone manager Mickey Donnelly believes his side can avenge last year's Ulster minor football final defeat to Monaghan when the sides lock horns at Newry tonight even though he will be without two key players.

Injuries mean that captain Conor McKenna and ace marksman Lee Brennan will miss the clash which has engendered considerable interest following the Red Hands' comprehensive victory over Down last Sunday.

"It's a pity we are without these two players from our starting line-up but this will pave the way for other lads to step up to the mark," states Donnelly.

Tyrone certainly do not expect to be afforded the same level of freedom they were accorded by an out-of-touch Mourne outfit last Sunday and Donnelly is particularly keen that his defence should be on their guard from the outset.

"It's important that we contain Monaghan. They have quality players and even though we will have players missing, I like to think that we have strength in depth," says Donnelly.

Monaghan boss Frank Brady is keen to see his side retain the title won for the first time in 68 years last season but although he has several players available from last year, his team will need to play to their optimum to beat Tyrone.

Donegal, meanwhile, are red-hot favourites for tomorrow's meeting with Derry in the minor championship at Celtic Park.

Declan Bonner, an All-Ireland winner with Donegal in 1992, is manager of the north west side.

"Derry will have their colleges' players back, they will have good support and they have a big incentive to get the right result," insists Bonner.

A busy weekend of minor action is climaxed tomorrow night when Armagh confront Cavan in Clones.

Armagh boss Paul Doyle will rely heavily on players such as Caolan McConville, nephew of Orchard legend Oisin McConville, Paul Quinn and Conor Cullen.

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