THE FEEL-GOOD-FACTOR IS BUILDING AND ALL THAT’S MISSING IS A BIT OF SILVERWARE …

25 January 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

BY JOHN GRAHAM
MONAGHAN V TYRONE

Having got out of gaol against Down on Sunday last in the semi-final Monaghan now head back to the Athletic Grounds this Saturday to take on the holders Tyrone in the final of the 2013 Dr McKenna Cup.

After Monaghan disposed of the Down challenge Tyrone had simply too much pace and power for Fermanagh whom they accounted for easily in the second semi-final but Tyrone manager Mickey Harte will certainly be looking for an all-round improvement if they are to retain their title.

Following last Sunday’s semi-final he described his team’s performance thus “as poor a performance as I have witnessed in a long time and it was a goal at the end of each half that gave us a result that our play probably didn’t reserve and if Fermanagh, who caused us problems in certain areas, had taken a couple of goal chances they created they could certainly have taken the result”.

That said though Monaghan face quite a challenge in taking on the holders particularly with Sean Cavanagh back in top form in midfield and Stephen O’Neill still pulling the strings on the edge of the square.

Monaghan had been impressive in their first two outings against St Mary’s and Donegal but that has to be taken in the context that St Mary’s were short quite a number of their regulars and Donegal did not have even one player from last year’s All Ireland squad on duty.

Malachy O’Rourke was quick to point out that you could not read too much into those two results but he also has had the good fortune that despite playing well below par last Sunday they still defeated Down in the semi-final and it will take that same heart and commitment to match the holders this time around. The Tyrone defence has been impressive in the McKenna Cup so far with Joe McMahon anchoring from the centre back berth but they could be without Conor Gormley this time around as he picked up an eye injury against Fermanagh that required him to attend casualty to check what damage if …

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