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Tyrone's payback mission adds extra edge to Ulster U21 showpiece

Tyrone Under-21 selector Peter Canavan
Tyrone Under-21 selector Peter Canavan
Declan Bogue

By Declan Bogue

If tonight's Ulster Under-21 football Championship final needed any more spice, it comes for Tyrone under the category of unfinished business against Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds (throw-in 8pm).

On the sidelines, the Red Hands management of Feargal Logan, Brian Dooher and Peter Canavan come up against their old team-mate from the 90s, Ciaran 'Dinky' McBride. The Omagh man teaches in his home town at the Christian Brothers school and is well-equipped with an insight into how to stymie Tyrone.

However, it will be memories of the 2013 Ulster minor Championship final that will play on the minds of both teams, with many protagonists remaining.

Back then, Monaghan bounced back from an eight-point deficit, Barry McGinn's second goal kick-starting a comeback that was sealed with a Fergal McMahon penalty to gift the Oriel their first title at that age since 1945.

Tyrone went on to take advantage of the backdoor system to reach the All-Ireland final, which they lost to Mayo, but Cathal McShane recalls the little details of their lingering rivalry with their neighbours.

"We played Monaghan a few times that year, in a warm-up game and then a league game in Healy Park," recounted the Leckpatrick man, who made his senior Championship debut for Tyrone in their preliminary round clash against Donegal last May.

"In Clones, we played them in the Ulster final. It was a weird game. It was just a game that Tyrone seemed to take over in the second-half. We got ourselves a goal and that put us a good few ahead.

"Then we lost a man and Monaghan made full use of that. You have to give them full credit for that and they deserved the win on that day because of how they reacted."

Belfast Telegraph


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