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Harte V Canavan? O’Neill v Quigley? Who Will Prevail? Healy Park (And Teamtalk) Have The Answers
Tyrone take on Fermanagh on Wednesday night with top place in their Mc Kenna Cup Section A the reward for the winners. The Erne county have been very impressive in their opening two fixtures and it seems every player who has been given the chance is more than busting a gut to impress new manager Peter Canavan. The Canavan affect will last for quite a while but it certainly appears to be paying dividends so far with the Fermanagh forwards as they have run up two fair decent returns in their opening fixtures.
Top man of course has been Roslea’s Seamus Quigley whose performances and scoring returns against Antrim and Queens have impressed everyone who has seen him play. His physical approach and robust style of play has made him very difficult to mark and seemingly impossible to stop. Against Tyrone he will be shadowed by Dromore full back Cathal Mc Carron. Interestingly both players figured prominently on their respective club sides that lifted county titles in 2011. Indeed had the Ulster Club draw worked out differently both these players could well have come face to face in that series back in November. Mc Carron was very solid at wing back against Antrim but will relish the chance to play in his favourite position on the edge of the square again even though Quigley’s physical prowess will make him a very difficult opponent.
Fermanagh tend to withdraw Ryan Mc Cluskey as a sweeper and it will be interesting to see if their management continues with that tactic in Omagh to nullify the threat posed by Tyrone full forward Stevie O’Neill. Perhaps Mickey Harte will adopt a similar approach to cope with the threat of Quigley but this game looks like being an intriguing tactical battle between two very savvy coaches, two developing teams and two quality full forwards.
It is very early in the season and both teams will have bigger fish to fry later in the year. However this game has more riding on it than just a place in the semi final of the first tournament of the year. There is local pride and the feeling of satisfaction that getting one over your neighbours brings. It is a local derby and both sides will be well up for it so expect a full blooded encounter with lots of big hits and some decent scores.