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Dr McKenna Cup: Stalled Tyrone now get ready for Donegal

Tyrone will now open their McKenna Cup campaign against Donegal this Sunday at Healy Park after last night’s game with UUJ fell victim to a frozen pitch at the same venue.

This pairing was to be the original opener back on the first weekend of the month but also fell victim to the weather.

Tyrone followers will hope to see boss Mickey Harte in attendance, as anticipated last night, to show their solidarity in the sad aftermath of daughter Michaela McAreavey’s tragic death.

Assistant manager Tony Donnelly is expected to take charge of team affairs for the day against Jim McGuinness’ team. It’s a meeting between the two most successful sides in the competition in recent times and a repeat of last season’s final which was won by Donegal.

It marks the beginning of half a dozen very busy days for the Red Hands with an away trip to Fermanagh on Wednesday night followed by the rearranged game with UUJ which will now take place on Saturday week.

The team that was named to face the students last night demonstrates that they mean business and they are expected to go with the same starting 15 again for the visit of Donegal.

That means senior debuts for Errigal Ciaran’s Aidan McCrory and Derrylaughan’s Ciaran Gervin in a side that contains a host of household names.

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Tyrone disciplinary chiefs have come down heavily on the two clubs who were involved in unsavoury incidents in the grade one county U21 semi-final back in December.

Holders Omagh defeated Derrylaughan 1-9 to 0-10 at Kildress but a melee broke out in the closing stages of the contest and both sides have been punished.

Players and officials from both clubs have had suspensions imposed on them while both clubs have also been fined, although they have three days to appeal the sanctions.

Omagh may have won the game but they have been expelled from the competition with the title being awarded to Eglish who accounted for Ardboe in the other semi final.

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