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Tyrone turn to Mulligan

JUST three weeks after leaving the Tyrone panel over his apparent lack of front-line action, Owen Mulligan has been named in the Red Hands' team for tomorrow's All-Ireland SFC quarter-final showdown with Dublin (7.0).

'Muggsy' was subsequently persuaded by Mickey Harte to return prior to the qualifier victory over Armagh, and came on at half-time during last weekend's 11-point defeat of Roscommon, kicking a point and contributing productively in general play.

The Cookstown clubman has reserved some of his finest performances in a Tyrone jersey for the big championship meetings with Dublin and was arguably their best performer last year in defeat, kicking five points off Michael Fitzsimons.

Famously, he scored one of the greatest goals ever seen in Croke Park back against the Dubs in 2005 to help spark the comeback which saw Tyrone earn a draw in the All-Ireland quarter-final before knocking Paul Caffrey's troops out in the relay en route to their second All-Ireland success.

Clearly, Harte reckons Mulligan will continue his rich vein of form against the Dubs and his inclusion and that of Martin Penrose in the Tyrone full-forward line in place of Tommy McGuigan and Kyle Coney represent two of three named changes from the Roscommon victory.


The other sees Justin McMahon come in for Ryan McMenamin at corner-back, although the latter actually lined out at centre-back last week.

McMahon's inclusion will likely free Conor Gormley up to play at the heart of the Tyrone defence after a rough ride from both Donie Shine and Senan Kilbride in last week's victory. Neither McMemanin nor Stephen O'Neill have been named in the 26-man panel, although both are sure to feature from the bench for Harte's men.

All noises emanating from the Tyrone camp this week have suggested O'Neill is at least somewhere close to full fitness and while he was not tipped to start against the Dubs, he is most likely primed to spring from the Red Hand's bench.

The omission of both from the squad may be explained merely by the fact that apart from substitute goalkeeer John Devine, Harte has listed his substitutes in alphabetical order.

As a consequence of both McMenamin and O'Neill's surnames coming after that of Tommy McGuigan -- number 26 in the programme -- they have been left off the official squad.

However, a team can change the make-up of their squad up until an hour before throw-in and no doubt, both McMenamin and O'Neill will be upgraded when the official team sheet is handed in.

Last week, O'Neill was also left out of the officially-named squad but was a late addition to the bench and wore the number 30 jersey.

TYRONE (SF v Dublin): P McConnell; M Swift, Joe McMahon, Justin McMahon; S O'Neill, C Gormley, P Jordan; K Hughes, S Cavanagh; C Cavanagh, B McGuigan, P Harte; M Penrose, M Donnelly, O Mulligan. Subs: J Devine, D Carlin, A Cassidy, K Coney, B Dooher, D Harte, C McCarron, D McCaul, A McCrory, E McGinley, T McGuigan.