Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

Errigal to rely on youngsters for Augher test

Family affair: Thomas Canavan is showing the promise that made his uncle Peter a GAA legend

No-one will argue that in a GAA context there is only one Peter Canavan.

Yet the Errigal Ciaran club with which the Tyrone icon is synonymous is currently unearthing a rich seam of attacking talent that looks capable of taking a leaf from his book.

And among the players anxious to chart careers in the Red Hand jersey is Peter's own nephew Thomas Canavan while Mark Kavanagh is also exhibiting the kind of predatory skills which initially projected Tyrone's greatest-ever player into the spotlight.

Tonight Thomas and Mark will be in the Errigal Ciaran side which will bid to take another step towards the Tyrone senior championship title when they line out against Augher in a quarter-final tie that looks certain to attract a crowd that would do justice to an Allianz League tie.

"There is phenomenal interest in the match," confirms Tyrone spokesman Eunan Lindsay.

"Now that the All-Ireland championship has been completed, there is a very strong focus on our domestic competition and this match will certainly underline the depth of talent there is within Tyrone."

Teenager Mark Kavanagh has certainly been hitting the high spots with reigning title-holders Errigal and was outstanding in their drawn game against Dromore before offering another five-star performance in the replay at the week-end when his spectacular goal later proved to be crucial in his side's 1-13 to 1-9 win.

He is a player likely to come under Mickey Harte's microscope given his penchant for picking off scores from all angles and distances and his confident ball-handling skills.

He will have a key role in the Errigal attack tonight alongside Thomas Canavan while Ronan McRory is another youngster who is showing immense promise along the more experienced Ciaran McGinley, John Devine and Aidan MaCrory in the Errigal line-up.

But Cormac McGinley could miss tonight's contest having picked up an injury in the replay win over Dromore.

Augher will enter the fray boasting their own formidable arsenal of talent. Aidan Cassidy may have been deployed as a substitute for the most part by Tyrone during the summer but still managed to make an impact in games in which he participated while Jamie Donnelly is currently the top scorer in the All County League.

Jamie is a son of Tony Donnelly, who is Mickey Harte's long-time assistant.

His scoring exploits have kept Augher to the fore this term and if he is provided with a decent supply of possession tonight, he could ask big questions of the Errigal defence.

With Carrickmore already through to the last four, they will be joined there by tonight's winners with the two remaining quarter-finals scheduled for Sunday.

Moy, powered by the Cavanagh brothers Sean and Colm, will take on Trillick, for whom Matthew Donnelly is in sparkling form, at Pomeroy (2.30pm) while Eglish, with the McKennas Ryan and Conor to the fore, will face Clonoe at O'Neill Park, Dungannon (5.30pm).

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