The lessons hardest learnt are the ones we tend to remember best but in football terms that is not always the case. There are plenty of examples of players who just do not take on board the benefit of experiences and as a result continue to make the same mistakes time after time. Good players learn from their experiences and really good players put this learning to good use.
Peter Harte is a really good footballer and his recent displays for Tyrone would appear to suggest he is taking on board the lessons he has learned in this year’s championship campaign. Few people would disagree if you said that the flying Tyrone wing forward faced a difficult time when his team lost to Donegal in their Ulster Semi Final fixture. The Errigal player that day was up against one of the most tenacious and committed defenders in Ulster football and it seemed to affect his game to some extent. However rather than allow that display to affect him negatively the Under 21 star bounced back immediately against Longford and produced a man of the match display that culminated in six marvellous points from play. He rounded the day off with another score from a free kick to end a great day’s work with a seven point haul in total.
Boosted by this showing and a fair degree of natural talent Harte lined out on Saturday night against an Armagh team laced with experience and well known for their physicality and hard hitting. Right from the off he was involved in the play as he continued to build on his Longford display. This time out he was at his brilliant best in terms of winning break ball and creating chances for his team mates, mind you the four points he scored also made a significant contribution to Tyrone’s winning total.
The middle third of the field resembled spaghetti junction at times with the volume of human traffic that loitered there but Harte’s balance, timing and movement allowed him to evade many of the Armagh tacklers and the longer the game went on the more potent and effective he became. As defenders tired and spaces opened up, particularly late in the second half he was able to exploit these opportunities to great effect. His run and pass for Tommy Mc Guigan’s goal were top drawer and were further proof, if it were needed , that as we approach the real business end of the footballing year Peter Harte is beginning to produce some top quality football. He is not a lad to seek or court publicity or adulation but if Tyrone continue their run in this year’s championship you can be sure of two things: Peter Harte will play a key role in that run, and, whether he wishes it or not, he will feature prominently in the sports pages of every newspaper in the country.