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All-Ireland heroes to clash in big Tyrone semi-final

By John Campbell

Two players who soldiered at the heart of the Tyrone defence when All-Ireland titles were won in 2003 and 2008 will be in opposite corners in the first of the county senior football championship semi-finals tonight at Healy Park, Omagh (8.30pm).

Dromore's Ryan McMenamin typified the Red Hands' resolve during the most successful period in their history, while Killyclogher ace Dermot Carlin would surely have amassed even more honours at the top level had it not been for a combination of injuries and the travel bug.

"It's a big test to be going in against Dromore who have won the title a few times in recent years but we will be up for battle," said Carlin.

"The Tyrone championship is always tough and hard and when you think that Dromore beat the reigning champions Omagh St Enda's in their quarter-final, you just know how difficult it will be for us tonight."

McMenamin will marshal the Dromore defence from the centre-half-back berth having been an ever-present at right-full-back during his county's stunning All-Ireland odyssey.

"To get over Omagh was a big boost for us but Killyclogher will be just as tough," he said.

"We knew going into the game against St Enda's that the loss of Ronan McNabb was going to be a big handicap but on the other hand you had someone like Niall Sludden who stepped up to the mark. He is surely county standard and he gives us extra heart for tonight's game.

"The boys who came off the bench did a great job with Feargal O'Neill getting a late goal that helped to seal our victory.

"There will be a derby edge to this semi-final tie but these are the type of games to which you look forward. We will certainly be giving it our best shot."

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