Cookstown can add more Tyrone glory, says Lawn
Former Tyrone defender Chris Lawn is hoping that some of the success which has been enjoyed by the Red Hand county at various levels over recent years will rub off on the Cookstown side which he now manages.
Lawn will send his team in against Cavan champions Lavey in Sunday’s Ulster Intermediate football championship final conscious that Tyrone participants in various GAA codes — football, hurling, ladies football, camogie and handball — have enjoyed an unprecedented ratio of glory since the dawn of the new millennium.
“Obviously the three All Ireland titles won by Mickey Harte and the boys, their National League crowns and their Ulster championship triumphs top the heap but even this week the Lory Meagher Cup for the lower tier of the All Ireland Hurling Championship rests in Tyrone while Omagh CBS won the Rannafast Cup on Saturday last. And we have world champion handballers here as well as a ladies football team that has been very consistent lately,” points out Lawn.
The Moortown clubman has reinvigorated the Cookstown team which overcame Down champions Ballymartin in the Ulster Club quarter-final before accounting for Monaghan Harps in their semi-final.
“It has not been an easy route to this final but the boys have applied themselves very well. They have been showing superb commitment but Lavey have beaten both Kinawley and Fanad Gaels and they will have taken huge heart from these results,” insists Lawn.
While he is happy to apply some of the managerial techniques that Mickey Harte has deployed so successfully with Tyrone, he is essentially doing things his way.
“I like to think that I have put my own stamp on this team. Obviously with the likes of Owen Mulligan in there along with a few others I have a ration of experience and that’s a big help. Players like these can help to fashion the overall attitude of a side,” maintains Lawn.
When he played as a solid full-back in the Tyrone side along with his free-scoring brother, he was euphemistically referred to as a the ‘back Lawn’ while Stephen was the ‘front Lawn’. On Sunday, though, Chris is hoping that his Cooktown defence and attack blend to such an extent that celebrations will be the order of the day.