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“Destination Newry” Tyrone V Meath A Contrast In Styles But Can The Red Hands Prevail?

Saturday 04.08.2012
Team Talk Mag
Club


Mickey Donnelly and his players face a trip into the unknown as they take on Meath in Sunday’s All Ireland Quarter Final. The Royals were well beaten by Dublin in the Leinster final and although they are something of an unknown quantity they should not be under estimated in any way. This group of Meath players has been together for a number of years and has a very good record of success during their time in the Development Squad system. Like all Meath teams they are big, strong and pacy and know how to mix it up when required. Jason Daley at centre half forward is a very creative footballer with a great eye for a pass while Fiachra Ward, younger brother of senior county man Cian, and Stephen Coogan at fourteen are potent forces capable of causing Tyrone plenty of problems.
Tyrone have been impressive at times during this campaign but they are far from the finished article. The Red Hand defence will face a serious test on Sunday evening and Padraig Hampsey, Caolan Harvey and Ruairi Mullan will need to be at the top of their game to keep an eye on these guys.
It must be said that Tyrone have a few potent weapons of their own up front with Sean Hackett showing in the provincial final that he has regained the confidence and finishing power that made him such a force during the Minor League. The Augher lad is a straight line type of footballer and if he is given time and space he will punish the opposition. Himself, Mark Bradley and James Mc Gahan form an exciting inside line that has the skill and scoring power to make life difficult for any defence. They had to play a patient game against Monaghan last day out as the Farney side packed their defence in an attempt to deny space and time to the Tyrone attackers. However the pace of the game eventually caught up with Monaghan and the young Red Hands capitalised late in the game to ensure that title number twenty two came back to the county.
One thing this team has in abundance and does not mind showing is a willingness to work hard. No-one typifies this more than Kieran Mc Geary. The Pomeroy youngster is perpetual motion as he buzzes about in search of the ball putting in tackles while driving his team mates forward at every opportunity. His man of the match award at the end of the Ulster final was well deserved but the number ten was nonplussed by the presentation stressing it was all about the team effort. If Tyrone are to win on Sunday and qualify for the All Ireland semi final they will require a similar team effort from each of their players. Should they fail to deliver, or come up short against the Royals’ forwards it will mean the end of the road for what is a very talented highly rated team. However with Tyrone currently showing excellent form and quality the smart money is on Mickey Donnelly’s side to continue their fine run and get the better of Meath.

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