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TG4 All Ireland Intermediate Football Championship Quarter Final

Friday 18.08.2017
Team Talk Mag
Club


Tyrone V Leitrim
Sean Mac Diarmada Park Carrick on Shannon Sunday 3-15pm
Tyrone will face unfamiliar opposition on Sunday as they attempt to reach the all Ireland semi-final. Beaten Connacht finalists Leitrim stand between Gerry Moane’s side and the last four as the sides meet for the first time with the Leitrim girls boosted by home advantage.
The Tyrone manager has confirmed that despite the frustration about playing at Carrick On Shannon they will “get on with the job” leaving the behind the scenes issues to County Board officials.“We can do nothing about the venue. Our focus is solely on the match and I have to say we are happy to be playing on an excellent surface.”
Tyrone face a stern test against a side that hit 7-7 as they beat a fancied Longford in the qualifiers, bouncing back after a heavy loss in the Connacht final. Phillip Brady’s side come into Sunday’s clash boosted by that competitive outing a fortnight ago. Tyrone have not been on competitive duty since winning the Ulster title on June 30th.
Despite that long competitive lay off Tyrone have been far from kicking their heels. There’s been tough club championship and league games within the county and several of the squad were involved in the disappointing all Ireland minor semi-final loss to Galway. Moane however has been happy in the main. “The girls have been impressing me and we will certainly have some selection headaches. There will be changes too from the Ulster win,” confirmed the manager.
Moane’s side played Ulster senior champions Donegal at Garvaghey last week and the management and backroom team were happy with the workout. “Donegal were at full strength and we put it up to them. It is improvement for us and proves to me that this squad is evolving. We are not the finished article yet though” explained Moane.
Despite scoring 7-7 Leitrim conceded 2-20 against James Daly’s side and also shipped 3-15 in the provincial decider. Aine Tighe was the main threat up front scoring 3-3, but this is more than a one woman team. Aibhe Clancy scored 2-1 as Michelle Heslin tagged on two goals. In all they had just four scorers. Eilish O’Dowd returned to action as a sub against Longford after injury. Clancy is not expected to play a part as she is named in the Irish university soccer side for the world games.
While Gerry Moane has Tyrone well prepared and focused his counterpart Brady is in a confident frame of mind. He has made no secret that the all Ireland title is their target this year. After that loss to Sligo he claimed that despite the disappointment they would regroup and head through the back door, determined to reach Croke Park.
“It’s not the route we would have chosen but the extra game will have done us no harm. We are probably in a good position. There is still an all Ireland to play for and we’ve been talking about that all year.”
The rigours of competitive club action have proven difficult for some of this Tyrone squad with several players unlikely to feature due to injury. In spite of this the manager remains upbeat about those carrying knocks.
“It’s a worry now, to be honest. You have a big squad though for such issues. We will look at things again ahead of throw in.”
Tyrone lost at this stage of the competition last year. That defeat by Clare on an afternoon spoiled by torrential rain and a waterlogged pitch was a major source of disappointment for Tyrone’s players and while winning a Ulster title was a step in the right direction in 2016 it would be fair to say now that one year on there would be more expected from this panel of players. Tyrone have been boosted by the step up in preparation this season with every player, young and those with a few more miles under the belt buying into the process.

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