Jarlath – Tyrone won't be caught out twice
THE busiest week of the inter-county year has just passed. You’d know that, judging by the debris that it has left in its wake.
Managers gone, player retirements, complaints about refereeing, Seanie Johnston saga still alive, fierce debate about whether or not Donegal are entertaining. Even the draw for the second round qualifier had more drama than most of Euro 2012. Yes, this has been a busy week.
Out of a side of the draw that included Derry, Tyrone, Armagh and a young, unpredictable Cavan team, it was obvious that whoever emerged from this group of death would deserve to be in the Ulster final. From watching them at this stage, there is no doubt that Donegal are a few notches ahead of the rest in Ulster at least.
For Jim McGuinness, 2012 would always be akin to that notoriously difficult second album, we hear about so much in rock and roll. Last year he got to an All-Ireland semi-final on an ultra defensive, high intensity effort, so this year would have to see all of that plus something else, if he was to get round the traps set for his team in the championship.
There were whispers this year that Donegal would flop, unrest about the Kevin Cassidy situation, fears that in a county as disparate as Donegal, getting the sort of effort out of a group of amateur athletes would be too much in a second year, ambition blunted by winning the Ulster last year.
All these nuggets of analysis were swirling round the championship launch in the Titanic Centre where the great and the good of Ulster GAA gathered to offer their tuppence hapenny worth.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday July 5. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here