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Ciaran McGinley thrilled with young guns

By Declan Bogue

With three goals, an overwhelmingly strong second-half showing and substitutions making a serious impact, no wonder Tyrone wing-back Ciaran McGinley wore the look of a satisfied man on Sunday.

The Errigal Ciaran clubman had notched two fine points of his own over the course of the game, but he was most happy with the fact that Tyrone's young forwards posed such a threat in front of goal with a stunning tally of 3-19.

At half time, both teams were tied at 1-6 each, but as McGinley explains: "We knew at half time we had to do something different because we didn't start the way we wanted to start in the first half. We seemed to play a bit laterally and we definitely made that improvement in the second half."

Coming off the bench, Ronan O'Neill scored two points and made a few outrageous passes to colleagues in better positions, Shay McGuigan clipped a point over and was clever in possession, while Paddy McNiece hit the net in the last play of the game, the ball having been flicked down to him by fellow sub Mattie Donnelly.

"It's just good that those boys are so ready," McGinley enthused. "Fergal (McCann, team trainer) has them warming up on the sideline every three minutes so they know their opportunity is going to come and they will get game-time in this McKenna Cup.

"The young lads coming in, the experience coming off the bench today was phenomenal, so hopefully now we can carry it to the Armagh game."

Even with the huge tally, Tyrone still hit ten wides, with McGinley commenting: "With mis-handling and things like that there are going to be mistakes. I had one like that myself and then Tierney's (Tiernan McCann) miss, I have to mention that too. Creating the chances was the main thing."

"It's all about being creative and we have a number of talented players up front there at the minute that are edging for goals."

Asked about the range of skills that Ronan O'Neill has shown in games to date, he elaborated:"It's in his repertoire, the same as Petey Hughes and Shay McGuigan and those boys.

"They can pick a pass, they are playmakers as such."

Tyrone play Armagh at home tomorrow night in the concluding group stage game, and barring a heavy defeat, will sail through to the semi-finals.

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