Saturday 16 November 2019

Tyrone look to end gripping U-21 saga

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

THE U-21 footballers of Down and Tyrone return for the third act of their gripping saga at Armagh's Athletic Grounds tonight.

The sides could not be separated after 160 minutes of football in Newry and Omagh and Tyrone boss Raymond Munroe -- who steered the Red Hands to a minor All-Ireland title three years ago -- is expecting this clash to also go down to the wire.

"People might say that because Tyrone won an All-Ireland three years ago that they are favourites," said Munroe, who is still without defender Kevin Mossey with a damaged a shoulder. "But there's a lot of water under the bridge since; seven or eight of that team have moved on to different things and some lads had all their football played by minor (level).

"Over the two games, both sides have had their opportunities to win it. We're three games in and that would often be enough to get you to an Ulster final -- but we haven't even got past the first round yet."

And the Tyrone boss revealed the extent of the toll the games have taken. "We haven't got back on the grass since last Wednesday's game as we have a few bangs and bruises," he said. "Purists might have been looking at the mistakes that were being made, but trying to seal out a game when they can hardly walk and in the face of serious aggression from the other side is really difficult."

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