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Two League Points For Derry But A Note Of Caution.
It is always difficult to cope with defeat in the first game of any league competition. You spend quite a while getting your team and plans together and come into the game in a very positive frame of mind. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, things do not go the way you had hoped and a one point defeat is the eventual outcome. For teams that lost their opening game there is a two week wait and that can play on the nerves as you seek to address areas of concern while trying to maintain the confidence of the players who under performed.
Fortunately from Tyrone’s point of view they will get an opportunity to put things right almost immediately as they face Cavan on Wednesday night in the semi final of The Barrett Lighting Mc Kenna Cup.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte must have left Derry on Sunday wondering just how his team had failed to break their Celtic Park jinx. Granted they looked out of sorts in the first half but did more than enough overall to get some sort of result. Derry came away with the two points and John Brennan will be delighted that his “new” side scraped a win against their greatest rivals.
However a cautionary note for the Oak leaf boss would be to remind him that his predecessor Damian Cassidy achieved a similar result last year in the opening match of the league but finished the season in the wilderness. In fact Cassidy’s side outplayed Tyrone last year and looked like they were making real progress towards becoming a major threat in Ulster again. Unfortunately by the time they eventually exited the championship, tamely, against Kildare in Celtic Park, the Derry county team was in danger of imploding.
I am not saying that we will see a repeat of last year’s shenanigans in Derry and should the cult of personality arise, John Brennan will deal with it differently to how it was handled last year. The Lavey man will now turn his attention to winning the first silverware of the year as his side prepare for the final of The Mc Kenna Cup and following Sunday’s win his team will go into that game in a confident manner. Indeed they may even end up lifting that cup and making a serious fist of the league. Nevertheless if I was a betting man my money would be on Mickey Harte’s team to be playing championship football much later in the season than John Brennan’s.