McCartan's boys home in on a stiff challenge
Down and Tyrone share a common bond as they prepare to meet in an Ulster minor football championship round three qualifier at Pairc Esler, Newry, today (2pm).
They have both lost to Monaghan in the competition, and while this might suggest that the Farney side are en route to retaining the title they won last year, such is quality of the teams left in the competition that predictions are remaining on hold.
Tyrone appeared to have set down an early marker when they overcame Donegal before they were tripped up by Monaghan last weekend. Yet they still appear to have key players in their side in Daniel Fullerton, James Donaghy, Michael McGleenan and skipper Niall Devlin who look capable of fashioning victory today.
For their part, Down, under the baton of former 1991 and 1994 All-Ireland winner James McCartan, ran Monaghan close before getting the better of Fermanagh.
While McCartan has his team playing an open, attacking brand of football, he is wary that the Tyrone attack could blossom.
Down are not without their own sources of scores, though.
John McGovern and Odhran Murdock, along with Adam Crimmons, are capable finishers.
In tomorrow's other minor championship tie, Cavan will host Donegal at Kingspan Breffni (6pm).
Cavan blitzed Fermanagh before coming up short against Derry and now face a robust challenge.
Johnny McGroddy has been in spectacular scoring form for Donegal and he is capable of punishing Cavan. The Breffni side will look to Jack Tully, Darryl McGurren and Caoimhin McGovern to pocket scores.