Thinking about Tyrone


The great thing about the National League is that the action is so fast-moving. There’s no time at all to dwell on the match just gone as the next one is coming down the traps rapidly. So, it’s already time to box away all thoughts about last Saturday night’s win over the Rossies and turn our focus instead to the Round 2 meeting with Tyrone.

This match takes place on Sunday up at Healy Park in Omagh, where throw-in is set for 2.30pm. Cavan’s Joe McQuillan – a ref we’ve had (for good and ill) many, many times down the years – has the whistle for this one.

We’ve significant history with Tyrone as well, of the positive and negative variety too. Our Championship record against them in recent years has been excellent but in the League they’ve had the upper hand.

While we did win up in Omagh the last time we played them there – two years ago – Tyrone have won four of the last five League clashes between us. They beat us twice during James Horan’s first stint in charge, by a point at MacHale Park in 2013 and then by four points the following year in Healy Park. They also beat us by four points at MacHale Park in 2015.

The most galling reversal we’ve suffered against them of late, though, was that embarrassing twelve-point thumping they handed out to us in Castlebar last year. We were worse than awful that day, losing both Cillian O’Connor and Lee Keegan to injuries as well as Colm Boyle on two yellows and Andy Moran on black before we’d even got to half-time. By the time we reached the break that day, Tyrone were all but out the gap and they won pulling up at the finish.

In retrospect, our respective performances that day provided broad hints about how the two counties would fare in the championship. While Tyrone failed to win Ulster they did regroup and make it all the way to the All-Ireland final. You don’t need reminding how our summer campaign ended up last year.

But that was then. Tyrone started this year brightly, winning the pre-season McKenna Cup earlier this month. This was their eighth McKenna Cup win in the last nine years and they beat Armagh by two points in a fiery decider, in front of over 11,000 punters at the Athletic Grounds. By coincidence, Joe McQuillan was also the ref that day.

Last Sunday, however, Mickey Harte’s charges came away empty-handed from the long trek down to Killarney. There they found the going difficult against Kerry’s tough-tackling young guns and only managed to bag a single point from play as they fell to an 0-11 to 0-7 defeat.

Despite this, the Red Hands are favoured by the bookies to make amends this coming Sunday. Paddy Power have priced Tyrone to continue their NFL hex over us – they’re strong 4/7 favourites to win.

Never mind the money men, though – what do you think? Will it be more Northern exposure for us in Omagh or will the positive start to the new James Horan era see us record two opening round wins in a row in the National League for the first time since 2012 ? It’s time to vote.

How will we do against Tyrone?

  • Win (52%, 377 Votes)
  • Lose (33%, 238 Votes)
  • Draw (16%, 115 Votes)

Total Voters: 730

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57 thoughts on “Thinking about Tyrone

  1. I’m not too bothered about the result thought 2 points would be great I’m more worried about Tyrone setting out to deliberately injure some of our key players a la Leeroy last year and before anyone starts giving out to me it looked like that’s exactly what they set out to do and achieve from where i was sitting in the stand.

  2. We will see blanket defence for sure. Important we take pots at the posts from outside 30m.. interesting how Diskin and Reape cope, maybe we will see Fionn McDonagh. And no injuries hopefully.

  3. In fairness Backdoorsam we badly injured one of their players too that day. Boyler got one of his yellows for that hit – which could just as easily have been a straight red – and the player in question, McGeary, had to be stretchered off. I don’t think we’re in any position to claim being holier than thou in terms of how we played that day.

  4. You’re right there Willie Joe; in fact Tyrone may come out with that sense of grievance lingering.

    Nevertheless, I’m positive about Sunday and think Horan and co. should be as well. Tyrone are by no means brilliant, and while the team coming off a win often gets both barrels from the previous week’s loser, this has been a tough weekend for Tyrone: helluva trip to Killarney, bad defeat and then the long road back. Sure Mayo have to travel a bit, but it’s only one way until they have the game. Secondly, James and co are unlikely to be complacent after Saturday, because they will feel they didn’t have a proper football game and will only get that opportunity in Healy Park.

    Amateur psychology for sure, but there you go.

  5. You have a point Willie Joe and maybe they are still smarting after Tom Cuniffes text book shoulder all those years ago in the Horan era Mk1
    Anyway hopefully the weather will improve and we’ll have a flowing game of football

  6. It will be interesting to see what team Horan puts out for the clash in Omagh. It was hard to take a huge amount of constructive analysis from the Roscommon game although I thought positions 1-9 all did well. It clearly wasn’t a night for the forwards to get on quality ball so he may be tempted to stick with the same front 6 again and give everyone another chance to impress. I think an away win against a genuine top four team would be a huge confidence boost and I expect Mayo to fully go for it on Sunday. We have a kinder set of fixtures to start the league than in prior years so it would be good to build some momentum especially with Cavan to follow.

    I also wonder how much emphasis will be placed on the offensive mark by Mayo in training this week. Monaghan were the primary exponents of its benefits against the Dubs with some lovely chest high pop passes. Such ball previously would have been of no major advantage as the attacker would be ushered towards the side-line with their back to goal and two or three defenders in tow. The reward of a free shot at goal is now far greater and one would think the likes of Andy, Doherty and Reape could make hay from this tactic. That said the mass Tyrone defence on Sunday will require the accuracy of the pass to be of the highest quality. Early days I know but it looks a good rule change to me. It’s a shame it won’t be still around come championship.

  7. Really hope to Clarke in goal next Sunday, Hennelly makes me nervy everytime i see him with the ball

  8. Is it just me or perhaps cause of lack of interest but I don’t think of Tyrone as last year’s runners up. I can barely recall their semi final victory .

    It’s hard to see us earn a victory Next Sunday , Tyrone will see it as a must win game , they gave us some trimming in corresponding fixture last year. I was surprised at their loss to Kerry last Sunday , I expected them to win with Kerry apparently losing challenge games to Laois and tyrone McKenna cup winners , it all pointed to a Tyrone win .

    What’s the latest on David Clarke , is he available?

  9. Dyer conditions last sunday and good win….however we still do the old thing of giving away a 4 point lead…..what can be done on that front??

  10. I see Gary Boylan has signed for Cork City pity we couldn’t get him back n the green and red

  11. Would be delighted to come away with even one point from this game. Hard to see it though – expect a big response from Tyrone next Sunday and a comfortable enough win for them.

  12. I think think this one is very difficult to call. The Roscommon game which became a complete lottery with the weather conditions is typically a game we would have lost in previous years because (a) we would coming off a long campaign (b) we would have half a team back (c) we wouldn’t be mentally prepared. This time round I think we are in a better place to take on Tyrone which will not be hard because, as Willie Joe correctly describes, we were worse than awful last time out. We were second to everything and were not up to the tempo of the game at all which in my mind is a large part of the reason we got so many injuries. If we play hard but fair and really run at Tyrone and if our forward unit click then I think there could be something out of this game. Looking forward to a right cracking game.

  13. I couldn’t get to Castlebar on Saturday but got to Killarney instead on Sunday. A few observations:
    We may well regret losing Donie Buckley if Kerry’s defensive performance is replicated over the coming years; I was surprised at the lack of support by Kerry half backs when Kerry were on the attack although that might be down to fitness levels at this time if year; In the absence of David Clifford Kerry’s forwards shouldn’t strike the fear of god into our backs ( eg Lyne is unable to kick off his left foot). Now on to Tyrone: Concession of
    Frees/45 shouldn’t unduly concerned Mayo based on Nialk Morgan’s poor place kicking on Sunday ( of course they might come to the same conclusion in respect of our goalies frees!); Morgan spent a considerable amount of time a long way from the posts and got away without conceding a goal in a one on one situation when possession was coughed up, Tiernan McCann was one of their stand out players in half backs and McGeary was lively when introduced; I think Peter Harte has really gone off the boil_he had minimal impact in first half although when he pushed up to half forwards in 2nd half he was better although the quality of ball in was poxy; of two points from play in 70 minutes ( in much better weather than Castlebar on Saturday) one of them came from a poor kick out from Kerry keeper( a fine distributor in general); Tyrone forwards showed a complete lack of a plan, it was a case of constant recycling but no incision whatsoever; young Canavan made no impression whatsoever, this is not a criticism in fairness, it’s probably a year or two too soon for him and may well end up like a chip off the old block but his introduction highlights the paucity of scoring potential in the Tyrone panel. In summary I believe we can go to Omagh in confidence and if we can avoid coughing up handy frees we have a serious opportunity to take the points.

  14. Can’t stand Tyrone. Play horrible football, beyond a grinch of a manager and equally awful fans (in general)

    I don’t believe we hold any fear of them and the pressure is on them to win.

    Hard to draw accurate conclusions as to how we can play and will endeavour to play after the match last week.

    It’ll be tough but we’ll win.

    2/3 pts.

  15. I look at this Tyrone team and to be honest I don’t fear them if mayo play to there Strengths and don’t get bogged down by Tyrone of the ball shit it is a game we can very much win. reape and diskin will course them problems with there pace and power inside . Mayo by 2

  16. I believe there were some boos from Kerry supporters over their team’s defensive set-up last weekend…they were big on the blanket defence.

    Yet again the blanket defence rears it’s ugly head.

  17. The word in Kerry is that Donie Buckley has made a massive difference in the dressing room.
    Also on this Donie Smith thing how come he gets a ban (admittedly deserved) for this but when Colm Boyle was gouged in 2017 final there was not even a word and when Tom Parsons was headbutted in 2016 the same thing and both incidents were on camera in clear view.
    It seems to be that in the GAA justice system some are more equal than others!!

  18. Big match that will no doubt be tough, but also a chance for the team to throw down a marker. If we can capitalise on the additional options in our FF line we could be in for exciting times.

    For those based in the UK – is there a way to watch the match on the TV? It’s being shown as broadcast on TG4. I know they did a youtube stream for the College final last year, but guessing that’s a one off? Any suggestions very welcome!

  19. Pat,
    not sure that Tom Parsons being headbutted was caught on Camera – if you have a link that shows it however I’ll stand to be corrected.
    Also – there’s no point in rehashing those incidents at this point. Control the controllables, thats all we can do.

  20. Mayomanintipp,
    Thanks for that informative update from a neutral perspective, I myself am abroad at the moment and missed the game last weekend. Donnie Buckley was a huge loss to Kerry when he left jack o connors set up and decided to head up to offer his expertise to your good selves, for me it was a critical loss for Kerry. Kerry have had the forwards to test the best backs in Ireland over recent years but our lack of a cohesive game plan rooted in our defensive structure has cost us dearly in my humble opinion.
    Mayo on the other hand have fallen short because of the need of a few sharpshooters in their forward area. Missed opportunities that should have been put away resulted in agonizingly close defeats. The one undeniable garrison is the Mayo dogid defense, they will frustrate, block and bully even the coolest forwards into making rash decisions or taking forced shots from areas outside their comfort zones, this results in a willingness to offload in situations where they would never ordinarily consider that option and confidence becomes an issue.
    Mayo frustrated both Dublin and Kerry with their exceptional defensive structure and I’m hoping that Kerry will finally benefit from the tactical genius that Buckley has in his tool bag.
    Mmintipp you said there was some booing last Sunday against Tyrone due to the setup of Kerry, it may be the same again next week but to be honest my mouth is watering to see how he sets us up against both yourselves and Dublin, that is the litmus test in my view as that is where the big guns are already being being honed in oblique forward planning for the dry sod.

    On a separate note I wish ye well in Healy park this weekend, Kerry kept them to two points from play and that must be a first for us against Tyrone in recent times. From what I hear they got many frees in advantageous positions so the cuteness clearly hasn’t abandoned them. Healy park has a distinctly carnivorous edge so I hope the game is reffed by a strong ref, otherwise the dead all could end up being your wrecking ball against them.
    Good luck and safe traveling to all GAA supporters this weekend.

  21. @Gamechanger , I go along with allot of what you say as regards the benefit of Buckley defensively…. Mayo’s tackling improved conciderably…As for the improvement I defensive tactics, I give great credit to Tony McEntee…Now that both are gone and indeed Stephen Rochford, it’s essential that the expertise and knowledge of the previous management team is retained…. I hope that next Sunday it’s nothing like last year’s? corresponding fixture in McHale Park… and I am not talking about the result. It’s not good seeing Player’s of any team being seriously injured, the ambulance being required and having to get oxygen or gas and oxygen on the pitch, as unfortunately happened to two players last year, Wheather it be by recklessness? or deliberate!…. Anyway safe travelling to anyone making the journey northwards next Sunday. . I don’t think that I will be traveling myself.. But at this moment in time, I would say that there is a slight question about the pitch with frost…. Too early to say just yet, but keep one eye on the weather…Máigh Eo Abu!

  22. Best of luck to team on Sunday. Hopefully no injuries and a win. Yes donie,tony mcentee and rochy certainly gave it their all – such a pity that they couldnt get us over the line. Can i just tell ye about what i was reading – Tipperary have launched a Commercial Board, chaired by Declan Kelly(official Tipperary sponsor, he is a brother of Alan Kelly TD). Aim: fundraising to secure funds to support ongoing strategic development of Tipperary senior hurling team. Some of the people on Board are: Alan Quinlan, Niall Quinn, Head of AIB Corporate Banking, owner of Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Group and Chairman of Tipp Supporters Club. Very impressive.

  23. Tyrone v monaghan semi final last year on August 12. Tyrone won by a point. I felt monaghan would have been better value in an AIF. It was forgettable only for the fact that Monaghan were in their first semi final in decades.
    But anyway, that’s all done.
    Tyrone will have shnouts on them for this game for sure, expect the usual tramping from them on the pitch and off. But our bucks are no pussies that’s for sure and I really expect a game from them. Mayo to win…..

  24. That made me laugh Joet re the ‘shnouts on them’ i know exactly what you mean!! Leeroy, Diarmuid and especially Aido will need to be wearing body armour and dashcams for this encounter.

  25. I’d be happy to get out of there without any serious injuries to be honest. It will definitely be a learning experience for any new lads that may be named.

  26. IT Carlow beat UL in the Sigerson tonight 11 – 9. Fionn McDonagh and James Lyons scored 2 points each for UL.

    UCD hammered DIT in the other game. Stephen Coen played the full game at midfield and scored a point.

  27. Brendan Carr Ardagh played for Carlow IT, Stephen Brennan Claremoris also started for NUIG. Big game of the Quarter finals UCD v DCU

  28. Has anyone had any issues with their season ticket being updated? Mine has not been updated despite going through gate 1 and being scanned by a handheld

  29. IntoDwest I have the same issue I rang McHale Park they said the handheld batch hasnt been uploaded yet…. that was Tuesday and mine still isnt done.

  30. JG, email and let them know, give them your barcode number and the time and gate you went through. The more of us that let them know the better. I have been emailing but getting no real joy.

  31. I think this is a game Mayo will win or at the very least draw. I have watched Tyrone’s last two games v Kerry,Armagh and they are clearly a side well off the pace and look like a side with little training done. Mayo fitness is going to be a telling difference in the game i feel.

  32. It matters to me after going to that match in those conditions, if I thought like that I could have stayed at home with my feet up watching it on TV

  33. Ive just emailed them now Intodwest. Id say its a minimum expectation to have attendance recorded accurately after braving the elements last Sat night.

  34. Aobh, yes it matters. You are paying for a service and that service should be carried out. Also 60% is a lot if you can’t travel to many away games due to work or family commitments.

  35. Not expecting us to win this at all, but will be good experience for the likes of Reape and Diskin and anyother young guns. If we get out of there with a clean bill of health ill be happy.A win would be a massive result in the context of the league, but very hard to see us winning. Tyrone by 4.

  36. Its early days yet,but wonder will game be cancelled. ? Hope not, itching to go up there and see us beat them.

  37. Thanks to wideball and others for keeping us posted on sigerson. Nice interview given by Paddy Durcan. Well grounded on and off the pitch

  38. Sigerson Cup quarter-finals
    All four games will take place on Wednesday, 6 February at 7pm.
    IT Carlow v UCC
    NUI Galway v Jordanstown
    St Mary’s v Maynooth University
    UCD v DCU

  39. My season ticket hasn’t been updated either. This is a regular occurrence especially in Machale Park. The Galway championship game also didn’t update for me. It is a disgrace and every time I email season tickets they just ignore it. As another contributor stated the evening was bad enough without you not getting your attendance recorded. It’s a proper disgrace and is not good enough.

  40. Hi Gamechanger10 and Hi All,
    It’s just a pity that some teams will be expertly trained on the new rules but when it comes to Championship those rules are irrelevant. I think its crazy personally how any team can-be expected to try and do this. Best of luck to Mayo and Kerry and all teams this weekend.

    Kind Regards
    Martin the Dub

  41. It is infuriating Mayomagic and Machale Park seems to be the most likely place it will happen ahead of anywhere else. It also dosn’t seem to matter that the card was correctly scanned either as I found out last year. You have a set number of days to contact them to have the situation corrected and if you don’t you loose out. I always check now and get on to them after two days or so if it’s not up there. Not good enough though.. especially as the whole thing ain’t exactly cheap. We have to be carefully though.. we can’t be all ganging up together now and putting the gaa in an impossible position on this.. we could be accused of bullying 🙂

  42. Whatever happened to James Carr….namechecked by Andy Moran 18 months ago or more and that’s the last I heard of him!??

  43. Just found out my ticket wasn’t registered either, I checked their T’s & C’s and here’s what it states:

    47. If a Season Ticket holder wishes to challenge a record of attendance only queries sent via email from the account holders email address to no later than 10 days after the fixture in question will be considered.

    So all who attended should check their status – having made a 500km round trip to attend this fixture is complete and utter shite from the GAA that the onus is now on us to check our attendance – they are providing a service and it’s NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE!

  44. The woman ahead of me in the queue for the turnstiles was having trouble with the scanner, it wasn’t reading her card. So the man asked if she needed it scanned, and she no because she had a Cairde ticket so attendance record didn’t matter to her. So he opened the turnstile for her without the card being scanned.
    Maybe they’re doing that for other people who actually do need it scanned.

  45. I got an update from the season ticket office to say that not all scanners from last Saturday’s game have been uploaded so there is a chance the attendance record will show up, they said to check in over the next day or two and if its still not up to re-contact.

  46. Re . Season tickets attendance not being recorded.. I have had this problem in the past and I emailed, several times.. might as well be banging your head off the wall.. I have to say that I got no joy… Ditto, if you lose your season ticket card…in which case they took the money alright(even if it was a small amount) but never replaced the card..

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