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Opportunity knocks for Tyrone talent to impress Harte

 

Back again: Mark Bradley has returned to Killyclogher fold
Back again: Mark Bradley has returned to Killyclogher fold
John Campbell

By John Campbell

A raft of players who were not quite able to nail down starting places in the Tyrone side over the course of the summer will be afforded the chance this weekend to remind manager Mickey Harte of their skills.

With the senior county championship about to step up a gear, Harte is intensifying his trawl for fresh talent but will also focus on players who were in this year's panel without quite becoming regulars.

The action gets under way tonight when Trillick face Dromore at Healy Park, Omagh (8.30pm) where both teams will be keen to take another step towards a title to which they are not exactly strangers.

Trillick's most recent championship coup was in 2015 while Dromore last captured the title in 2011 when the newly-appointed Fermanagh manager Ryan McMenamin was an inspirational figure in their side.

Tomorrow there are two interesting fixtures down for decision when Killyclogher will face Donaghmore at Carrickmore (2.45pm) while Moy will oppose Clonoe at Pomeroy (6.15pm).

With Mark Bradley and Nathan Donnelly back in their ranks, Killyclogher will be up for the challenge against a Donaghmore side that is bolstered by the inclusion of the McKenna brothers Niall and Peter.

Bradley withdrew from the Tyrone squad early this year because of study commitments but his return to his club's colours is seen as a timely boost for their championship aspirations.

Moy, who won the All-Ireland intermediate championship crown last year, are again expected to be without Harry Loughran for their meeting with Clonoe.

Loughran's injury has kept him out of action but the Moy side can nonetheless look to the Cavanagh brothers Sean and Colm to set the tone for their performance.

They will come up against a Clonoe side that includes Michael O'Neill, Declan McClure and Connor McAliskey all of whom have represented Tyrone with distinction.

O'Neill has been understudy to goalkeeper Niall Morgan in the past while McClure and McAliskey showed that they still have much to offer when making limited appearances in the side this year.

They are certain to figure in Harte's thinking for 2020 given their experience and ability to influence matches.

The meeting of reigning champions Coalisland and Ardboe on Sunday evening in Edendork (6.15pm) has a particular allure given the array of talent that will be on view.

There is a fitness doubt about Padraig Hampsey, and should he be unavailable then this could impact on Coalisland's prospects of victory.

Obviously the Fianna are keen to retain the county crown title they won in such a stylish fashion last year but the possible absence of the versatile Hampsey could impact on their prospects of making it back-to-back titles.

Hampsey was a consistent performer in the county colours this year and has blossmed into one of the best defenders in Ulster.

Ardboe can look to Kyle Coney, David Mulgrew and Michael Cassidy to spark their drive for glory as all three will bring considerable experience to the table.

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