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Injuries Played Huge Part In League Final
Tyrone’s cruel one point loss against Dublin must have been extremely hard for the players to take. They went into the match as firm underdogs with many pundits expecting the favourites to win comfortably. The Red Hands cause was not helped when they lost their talismanic full forward and captain Stevie O’Neill to a freak dressing room injury. Indeed injuries to key players had a major impact on the fortunes of the Tyrone team. Justin Mc Mahon and Dermy Carlin did not make it out for the second half while Conor Gormley and Aidan Cassidy suffered freak impact injuries that forced them to leave the field just when the game was in the melting pot. Although the subs that came on all performed well one cannot help but feel that the extra experience of men like Gormley and Cassidy during that crucial last few minutes would have made all the difference. Gormley showed he still has what it takes when it comes to defending against some of the top attackers in the game while Cassidy’s display until he was forced to leave the field must surely rate as one of his best ever in the Tyrone jersey. While you have to expect that injuries will happen and they are part of parcel of the modern game you get the feeling that we missed out on the rub of the green as far as this year’s league final is concerned.
We may spend time speculating about how much we missed the influence of those key players especially towards the end of the game. Few would deny that a fully fit Stevie O’Neill or Peter Harte would have managed to land at least one more point but ultimately we had fifteen players on the field today who gave it their all. The injuries before and during the game were body blows and contributed significantly to the outcome of the game. Ultimately however these injuries forced some players to dig deeper than they have ever done before and in the end, even though they came up short, that could prove to be hugely beneficial to the development of this team in the long run.