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Tyrone determined to make up lost ground against Armagh in bid to retain McKenna Cup


Tyrone skipper Padraig Hampsey eyes victory over Armagh

Tyrone skipper Padraig Hampsey eyes victory over Armagh

Tyrone skipper Padraig Hampsey eyes victory over Armagh

It's not often that Tyrone find themselves with a point to prove in January.

But that midweek reversal to Cavan in the Dr McKenna Cup (1-17 to 0-5) has triggered a mild tremor of apprehension ahead of today’s game against Armagh at O’Neill’s Healy Park, Omagh (1.30pm).

Granted the Red Hands line-up may have been scarcely recognisable, and this would suggest that a more familiar battery of faces will be on duty against an Armagh outfit that has already chiselled out a hard-earned win over the Breffni side.

As holders of the McKenna Cup, Tyrone make no secret of their desire to retain custody of the silverware so players like Padraig Hampsey, Peter Harte, Conn Kilpatrick and Darren McCurry will be expected to step up to the mark today.

And there won’t be any quarter asked or given either at Portglenone where Antrim will host Donegal (1.30pm). The Saffrons surprised Down on Tuesday night and the alluring prospect of a semi-final place is expected to elicit the best from players such as Patrick McBride, Ricky Johnston, Odhran Eastwood and skipper Peter Healy.

Fermanagh will get the chance to make amends for their slip-up to Monaghan last weekend when they face Derry at Roslea today (1.30pm).

New Erne boss Kieran Donnelly had reason to be impressed with the form of inexperienced trio Josh Largo Ellis, Joe McDaid and Darragh McGurn against Monaghan and they will now get another chance to show their paces. Derry have already drawn with Monaghan and will have a strong focus on a semi-final slot.

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Meanwhile, Ulster Intermediate Club football champions Denn will face St Brendan’s from Manchester in the All-Ireland Twinning final at Crossmaglen tomorrow (12.45pm).

Cavan title holders Denn include several experienced players in their line-up, including the likes of Thomas Edward Donohue, Thomas Corr and James Brady.

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