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Minors Win But Lots Of Room For Improvement.
Tyrone went into their first round championship match with Monaghan in the unusual position of not being favourites to progress. Mickey Donnelly would be the first to admit that his side were far from impressive during their minor league campaign where they failed to shine in any of their games. However when you consider the number of successful schools and colleges sides across the county, there was plenty of evidence to suggest that the manager had the basis of a very competitive side within his panel.
Mind you expectations were high in Monaghan that this year’s minor team had the potential to deliver a first Ulster Minor Title in a number of years. With a new management team in place the Farney county supporters were approaching this game in expectant manner. Indeed the boys in blue started both halves of the game well but lacked consistency and real firepower and were dependant on sub Mark Mc Gurk for the majority of their striking threat.
Although Tyrone looked shaky at times they never looked back once their first half blood sub Daniel Mc Nulty struck two fine scores to put them ahead for the first time. Mickey Donnelly will be delighted to have got over this one knowing that Down, Derry and Donegal had all bitten the dust in this competition already. All three of those sides had been tipped to do well but unfortunately for them their minor season is now over. The Aghaloo man knows that there is much room for improvement throughout his side but he can take comfort from the fact that they won convincingly without ever playing really well. Goalkeeper Mark Mc Reynolds did very well as did full back Sean Molloy whose surging runs from defence do look impressive but leave massive gaps at the back but the two players about whom most people will be talking today will be Sean Hackett and Daniel Mc Nulty as both lads contributed handsomely to their side’s winning total.