Former Donegal and Ulster manager Brian McEniff is in no doubt that the Tyrone side of 1986 helped pave the way for the success that the Province enjoyed on the All Ireland stage a few years after their heart breaking loss to Kerry.
In the second part of his interview with teamtalkmag.com McEniff speaks about the impact that side made twenty five years ago. That Tyrone team were of course managed by his good friend Art McRory and they are guests of honour as the jubilee team at this Sunday’s Ulster senior football final.
“There is no doubt that Tyrone team were the trail blazers for the rest of Ulster. Prior to their breakthrough Monaghan had come close the year before when taking Kerry to a replay.
Tyrone had been there two years earlier but didn’t do themselves justice against Dublin and who’s to say what would have happened in 1986 had they been able to call on the services of Frank McGuigan.
I was speaking to Art a few days ago and we talked about the match and we agreed that the only thing that Tyrone didn’t legislate for was being seven points up against Kerry. A few things didn’t go their way with the missed penalty, a foul on Plunkett Donaghy not being given and both Eugene McKenna and John Lynch getting injured.
It was a great pity that they didn’t win the All Ireland as they were a fine side. Three years later they lost to an average Mayo side at the semi final stage and that spelt the end of the road for a few of the side. Their exertions though were a great boost to the Province.”