Both the All Ireland Senior and Minor football titles could come to Ulster for the second year in succession.
With Tyrone still very much in the frame to retain the Sam Maguire Cup and Armagh and Down in the shake-up for the Minor crown, the chances of an Ulster double have increased considerably.
And the province’s top administrators, delighted when Tyrone achieved the double last year, are optimistic that the ‘double double’ could become a reality.
Ulster Council chairman Tom Daly, having absorbed the bitter disappointment of the mauling his own county Donegal received at the hands of Cork, is nonetheless optimistic that Tyrone, under Mickey Harte, can still do Ulster proud at senior level for the fourth time since the dawn of the new millennium.
And he is equally upbeat about the chances of both Armagh and Down making a strong play for the All Ireland Minor accolade.
“It is most heartening to see the province vying strongly for both titles — this gives us a fair indication of Ulster’s strength at senior and under-age level. Obviously the intensity is now much higher and all three of our sides still involved face a high-pressure run-in,” admits Daly who is in his last year in office.
He is convinced that more success in the All Ireland sphere at either Minor or Senior level — or preferably both — will serve to further underpin the strength of the GAA at grassroots level.
“It is said that nothing succeeds like success and this is very true when it comes to promoting our games,” adds Daly.