Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

GAA: Tyrone teach the rest a lesson

Tyrone will bid to extend their superb record at Vocational Schools level when they lock horns with Meath in the All Ireland final at St Tiernach's Park in Clones this afternoon.

The teams will be competing for the Paul McGirr Trophy, in memory of the Dromore clubman who tragically lost his life in a Minor Championship game against Armagh in Omagh 10 years ago.

The Red Hands have lifted the national title on eight occasions and today they will be appearing in their fourth decider in a row.

Last season Wicklow sprang a surprise when a last gasp point saw them deny Tyrone a three in a row and no doubt the O'Neill County will be out to make amends this time around.

The Ulster champions are managed by Brian McGuckin and Declan O'Neill and they have turned in some impressive displays on route to the final.

In the first round they met Donegal with the winners tipped to go the whole way to provincial honours, not surprising when you consider the two counties have won the title 28 out of the 43 times it has been played for.

It took a brilliant late goal from Ardboe's Kyle Coney to send Tyrone through on a 4-6 to 1-12 scoreline before they easily accounted for Armagh in the semi-final.

That set the Red Hands up for an Ulster final date with Cavan and they retained the title for the fourth year in a row with Paul McAleer outstanding, hitting 2-5.

Cork were then beaten a few weeks ago in the All Ireland semi-final 1-11 to 0-10 and one thing about this Tyrone side is that they always seem to finish strongly.

Centre half forward Kevin Corr and full forward Kyle Coney both missed the meeting with Cork due to injury but both are expected to play today.

The side is captained by Sean Robinson at centre half back with Conor Carson, Peter Devlin, Paul McAleer, Patrick McNeice, Martin Rodgers and Coney key performers.

McAleer and keeper Greg Kelly are the only survivors from last year's starting 15 but it's a squad littered with players used to winning things. Steven Curran, Patrick McNeice, Kevin Corr and Niall Fox were all members of the Coalisland minor team that won the Ulster title this year at St Paul's while Conor Carson, Barry McGarvey and Barry McNulty are going for their second All Ireland medal this season already as all three played for Greencastle in their historic All Ireland Junior Championship triumph.

Meath are something of an unknown quantity but if this Tyrone team click they will take a bit of beating.

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