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Ups and downs for Tyrone's McMahon brothers

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has received a significant boost as he steps up preparations for his team's Ulster championship opener against Down at Healy Park, Omagh on May 18.

Long-serving defender Justin McMahon, who has been plagued by injury in recent seasons, turned in an outstanding performance for Omagh St Enda's against Cookstown at the week-end – and in doing so largely nullified the threat of one of his former county colleagues.

McMahon found himself going head to head with Owen Mulligan but shaded the contest in his side's 5-10 to 1-11 victory, with Omagh's other Red Hands aces Conan Grugan and Ronan O'Neill landing important scores.

Joe McMahon sustained a calf strain in the warm-up which could keep him out of action for a couple of weeks but he is still hopeful of making the cut for the Down game.

Harte will also be boosted by the performance of Conor McAliskey who scored seven points for Clonoe in their handsome 3-12 to 0-8 win over Dromore and by the imposing form of Conor Gormley who belied his years to control midfield for Carrickmore in their win over Augher.

He now looks certain to be handed a starting spot against Down next month.

Belfast Telegraph


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