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Hurlers Expecting A Tougher Challenge In Second Game.
South Down vs. Tyrone
Sunday 20th February
At 2:30pm in Ballela
The Tyrone Senior Hurlers continue on their Division Four National Hurling League campaign this Sunday afternoon, when they make the trip to Ballela to take on South Down with manager Tom Magill expecting a much tougher test than the one his team faced in round one.
Tyrone hosted Connaught outfit Leitrim, at Omagh last weekend and, despite a nervous opening half display, the Red Hands shook off the shackles in the second period on their way to a resounding sixteen point victory. Shea McKiver’s goal thirteen minutes into the second half put the game beyond doubt and, with Cathal McErlean, Justin Kelly and the influential Aidan Kelly tagging on sublime long range points Tyrone cantered home on a 2-19 to 0-9 score line.
It was the best possible start for Tyrone following the lows witnessed in 2010, when the County only managed to win one game from a ten game programme in league and championship action. Under the guidance of Magill there appears to be renewed vigour within the current set up and, while the Derry native was delighted with last week’s result, he is keeping his feet firmly grounded as he expects a much tougher test in the Mournes.
It is easy to understand Magill’s reluctance to get carried away because looking at the opening round results South Down also posted a fantastic result, when travelling to Longford to carve out a 2-17 to 1-10 victory. The sides were actually level 1-7 to 0-10, at the break before second half goals from Eoin McGuinness and centre half back Kieran Courtney eased the visiting Ulster men over the line.
Tom stated “We have a lot of more work to do before we become the finished article, but South Down will be another serious test. If we were to get a result against them then it would set us up nicely for the duration of the league. We have worked hard since the start of January, but we will be taking nothing for granted against Down this weekend. There are two league points up for grabs and we will be doing our best to maintain this positive start.”