Two out of three would be good for Dromore
When Dromore landed the Tyrone senior football championship crown in 2007, it marked the end of a lengthy title famine.
Now, as they prepare to contest their third county final on the trot, this time against Arbdoe on Sunday, Dromore are anxious to make it a two out of three success ratio following their rather surprising eclipse by Clonoe last year.
Consistency has been the keynote of Dromore’s progress with long-serving Ryan McMenamin, sharpshooter Colm McCullagh and rugged defender Sean O’Neill underpinning their side.
They will face an Ardboe side who have crept rather than galloped through to the decider, fortified by the silken skills of the McGuigan brothers, Brian and Tommy, and the electrifying pace and finishing of Kyle Coney who has turned his back on a career in Australian Rules to further his GAA career.
If McMenamin’s earthy virtues epitomise the Dromore psyche, then Brian McGuigan’s artistry embodies the Ardboe approach. Yet the lough shore men can merge steel and style, their rearguard seldom less than uncompromising.
Injury prevented McGuigan from leaving a substantial imprint on Tyrone’s championship campaign but on those occasions on which he was fit to see limited action, he sent out a sharp reminder as to just what the Red Hands were missing.
Time has allowed him to regain his sharpness and on Sunday he could have a profound influence on proceedings.
While Ardboe will look to their elegant talisman to pull the strings, McCullagh in particular will require to hit his lethal best if Dromore are once again to earn their passport into the Ulster Club Championship.
The former Irish League player has been playing the best football of his career this year and had a major role in taking Tyrone into the semi-finals of the All Ireland Championship in which they were beaten by Cork.
With Shaun O’Neill alongside him in the Ardboe attack, he will have assistance from a player rated highly by Red Hands boss Mickey Harte but who tends to blow hot and cold.
Should he rise to the occasion on Sunday, then Dromore’s prospects of reigning supreme in the O’Neill county for a second time in three years will be greatly enhanced.