Sport GAA

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Mickey Harte shuffles Tyrone pack for Armagh rematch

Mickey Harte, Tyrone manager
Mickey Harte, Tyrone manager

John Campbell

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte has made no fewer than 13 changes for tonight's Dr McKenna Cup semi-final against Armagh.

Mattie Donnelly and Ronan O'Neill, who have already played for Ulster University in the competition, are now eligible following the elimination of their college side, and will both start at the Athletic Grounds.

Sean Cavanagh and defender Dwayne Quinn are the only players to hold onto their places following the seven-point win over Antrim last weekend.

Conal McCann, younger brother of Tiernan, makes his debut at midfield, while attacker PJ Quinn makes his first start of the year.

Joe McMahon returns to the squad, and is listed among the substitutes for the eagerly awaited rematch of the season-opener, a feisty contest which produced 19 cards, four of them red.

The disciplinary statistics tend to paint a grim picture of the confrontation between deadly rivals earlier this month.

Yet they must not be allowed to cloud the fact that the match still offered a generous ration of silken skills, some towering individual displays and a level of commitment that was never short of frenetic.

No wonder, then, that tonight's semi-final at the Athletic Grounds acquired the status of a must-see event from the moment they were paired.

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Tyrone, whose feisty late surge gained them a 1-12 to 1-10 victory in the opening day set-to, have remained in the box seat by stringing together three wins and illustrating their sharp appetite for a second four-in-a-row McKenna Cup coup since 2004.

Manager Harte's enthusiasm for what is often referred to as a 'subsidiary' trophy is as intense as ever. "We'll not be going there just to play a game, we'll be going to try and win and I'm sure it will be the same for Armagh," he said.

Tyrone (SF v Armagh) - M O'Neill; D Quinn, R McNamee, R McKenna; R Brennan, M Donnelly, P Harte; C Cavanagh, C McCann; PJ Lavery, R O'Neill, P Hughes; S McGuigan, S Cavanagh, C McShane.

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