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Munroe leads from the front as Tyrone target U17 final place

 

By John Campbell

It is perhaps just as well that Tyrone did not derive any false comfort from their emphatic 3-14 to 0-6 win over Cavan in the recent Ulster U17 football championship final.

Manager Collie Holmes warned on that occasion that much bigger challenges lay ahead and the first of these comes tonight when the young Red Hands will oppose Meath in the first of the All-Ireland semi-finals at Kingspan Breffni, Cavan (7.30).

Meath's win over a fancied Dublin outfit in the Leinster championship final convinced Holmes and skipper Cormac Munroe that their team will now face a much stiffer examination of their credentials.

Centre-half-back Munroe is the fulcrum of a defence that did not concede too much in winning the Ulster title but a Meath attack in which players such as Matthew Costelloe, Jordan Morris and Shane Walsh have been thriving lately could pose big problems tonight.

"Obviously while we were very happy to have got over Cavan we knew that it would get tougher from there on, and Meath showed in winning the Leinster title that they are a very good team. They won't fear us but at the same time we have belief in our own ability and attitude," said Munroe.

Darragh Canavan, Thomas Hoy, Ethan Jordan, Cormac Donaghy and Daniel Millar are key players in a Tyrone side which favours an expansive game, as their recent scoring exploits will indicate.

Manager Holmes, a former All-Ireland winner with the O'Neill county, is convinced that if his side play to their potential then they can book a place in the final against either Roscommon or Kerry.

"But all we are focused on is this game tonight. We want to give it everything from the word go," insisted Holmes.

Meanwhile, Ireland and Australia are set to do battle in the 20th International Rules series in November.

The first Test will take place at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, November 12 with the second leg scheduled for Saturday, November 18 at the Domain Stadium, Perth.

It's the first time since 2013 that the series will comprise two Tests. Ireland will again be managed by former Crossmaglen Rangers and Armagh All-Ireland winning boss Joe Kernan, while Chris Scott will be in charge of the Australian side.

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