Fianna expected to soldier on
Tyrone SFC Quarter-Final
Carrickmore v Coalisland
Saturday, Pomeroy, 5.45pm
If Dromore’s march to another county title is to be halted, then it is the winners from this quarter-final clash who possibly stand the best chance of doing so.
Carrickmore were given a real scare in the opening round by Trillick, the St Colmcille’s thankful to goalkeeper Kieran Donnelly for two crucial saves at the start and end of the game. However, Carmen are notoriously slow starters and it would be foolish to read too much into that display. They had nine different scorers over the hour, but only seven of their 11 points came from play to provide a statistic which simply would not be good enough this weekend.
Following a lengthy absence from knee surgery at the start of the year, Colm McGurk made a cameo appearance at the end of Carrickmore’s first round win over Trillick, and has forced his way into contention for a starting berth this weekend.
Also back in the fold are Mickey McCallan, Benny Martin and Mickey Slane, the latter having returned following a summer with the McAnespie’s club in Boston to create a few selection headaches for Dom Corrigan.
Coalisland too are not exactly short of options or of firepower, the majority of their absent stars in the defence of their title last year having now returned to the fold. The Fianna are more accustomed to free-flowing and fluid attacking football, but they were forced to dig deep in order to secure victory over Greencastle last time out.
It was only in the final quarter of their first round tie that Coalisland eventually pulled away, with Plunkett Kane and Paddy McNeice steering the Fianna through to the last eight. McNeice top scored with 1-4, while Eoghain Carberry also made a telling contribution with four points.
Although still missing a few key personnel from their ranks, the Fianna are most certainly a force to be reckoned with, and having beaten Carrickmore in the final to claim the O’Neill cup two years ago will go into this tie fully confident of taking their place in the last four of the title race.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday September 6. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here