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Burns praises the victors and resolves to get back on track

By Declan Bogue

Down manager Eamonn Burns is the latest to sit down and examine the system and the talents of Tyrone, put together a plan, and watch it all unravel.

There is no shame in that, but Burns gave us an insight into the level of planning and second-guessing you have to do when facing Tyrone in stating afterwards: "It's difficult to play against them. You definitely have to have men to commit to runs that they probably aren't going to get the ball from. At times in the first half we didn't do that, at times in the second half, especially late on, we did do that. It bore fruit.

"Today's experience will stand us in good stead. It's a learning curve and we're taking small steps. Today we would've liked to take an Ulster title but unfortunately we didn't. I don't think we can have any complaints - the better team won."

Down have been on an unexpected run and perhaps it caught some players unaware to be in that position. Either way, it was something to bank away for the future.

"The other thing we have to factor in is that was our first time in an Ulster final," explained the Bryansford man.

"Tyrone, some of those boys it was their second or even their fourth. All those things come to play but I have to say, I am very proud of them."

Down now go into this morning's hat along with Monaghan and Armagh - two sides they beat in the Ulster Championship - for a rematch that no matter who comes out, will be full of rage and revenge fantasies.

"We'll see who it is on Monday and then we'll set our stall out," said Burns.

Asked if it is hard to face the same opposition again, he finished: "It depends on how you dress it up. We're coming off the back of a defeat, they're coming off the back of a win so it's up to the management team to get the players up again and ready to go in a fortnight's time.

"We'll definitely be doing our very best to have the players ready to compete again on Saturday week."

Belfast Telegraph


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