Sometimes games change or are decided on small details. Anyone watching tonight’s game between Tyrone and Down will point to the impact of the double substitution made by Raymond Munroe twenty three minutes into the first half in turning this game around. At that stage Tyrone trailed by six points and were all at sea as they struggled to cope with the pace and hunger of the Down team. Munroe’s half back line was being torn apart and it came as no surprise when both Gavin Teague and Stefan Mc Kenna were called ashore. Their immediate replacements Ciaran Gervin and Tiernan Mc Cann made an instant impact with their pace and ball carrying ability but it was the switching of Peter Harte to centre back that decided the outcome of this game.
In the opening twenty five minutes Down played some superb football as they built up a six point lead led by centre half forward and talisman Paul Mc Polin but all that changed when the flame haired Errigal man moved to centre back. He completely shut out the threat of Mc Polin and began to drive his team mates forward as they set about eating into Down’s lead. Harte was central to most of Tyrone’s excellent work throughout the rest of the game and will rarely have played a better game in the Red Hand jersey. Manager Munroe will have been delighted with what his players produced when six points behind and although he tends to praise the team and not individuals even he must have been delighted with the exhibition given by his number eleven.
This win will give the entire squad a great boost in confidence and with a break of seven days before the semi final against Monaghan, Tyrone will go into that game in a very positive frame of mind. With Peter Harte in such fine form they have every reason to be confident.