It’s an often used phrase “it’s not the size of your dog in a fight that matters but the size of the fight in your dog” and if ever that phrase aptly described two teams it was Sunday’s game in Dungannon. We had a pretty decent view of the Kildare team during their warm up and as they entered and left the field of play. To say they were big athletic men would be an understatement. They looked “hugely” impressive as they went through the rigours of a very intensive and strenuous pre match routine. With the exception of Cork I doubt if there is a bigger, more physically developed side in the country presently. Their central players are all very imposing physical specimens and none of them would look out of place in the back row of the Leinster rugby union side.
Compared to them Tyrone looked much smaller and less physically impressive. Take Sean and Colm Cavanagh, Joe Mc Mahon and Aidan Cassidy out of Tyrone’s team on Sunday and they were practically dwarfed by their opponents. However what Tyrone may have appeared to lack in height or physicality they more than made up for in terms of hunger, passion, commitment and workrate. All across the field, particularly in the key duels, Tyrone were first to the ball, stronger in the tackle and in possession and outfought the much vaunted opposition. Size never came into it as Marty Penrose, Martin Swift, Davy Harte, Brian Mc Guigan and Mark Donnelly produced a top quality display and illustrated perfectly that when it comes down to it, it’s the fight in the dog that really decides the outcome. If Tyrone manager Mickey Harte can continue to get the same type of effort and commitment from his players when the championship comes around, they will have a big say on the destination of honours later in the year.