SPORTS COLUMN

McEniff view: Donegal have improved; I'm not sure Tyrone have

TYRONE WILL BE WELL PREPARED

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

McEniff view: Donegal have improved; I'm not sure Tyrone have

From the moment the draw was made last Autumn the odds on a Donegal, Tyrone Ulster semi-final looked a pretty good bet.

Donegal beat Antrim and Tyrone saw off Derry to set up the predicted semi-final.

It is on in Clones in a couple of weeks, in what is a repeat of last year’s final.

Donegal folk won’t need much reminding that Tyrone won that game by two points, in one that definitely got away from Donegal.

I watched the Tyrone versus Derry game on TV last Sunday. And no more than Donegal’s performance against Antrim seven days earlier, it is hard to know what to make of Tyrone.

They were average in the first half but much improved in the second half. But being honest I didn’t see anything that would put the fear of God in you.

Sean Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly and Peter Harte are still their big players.

They have a lot of busy wee forwards, but nobody inside of the statue of Peter Canavan, Eoin Mulligan or Stephen O’Neill.

The didn’t score any goals either against a poor Derry outfit, who except for a brief spell after half-time weren’t at the races.

Tyrone seem to have a problem creating and scoring goals.

The one thing we know for sure is that under Mickey Harte they will be well prepared and they will tactically be ready for Donegal.

We’ve got to be ready for them, too, which I have no doubt we will be. The one thing about Rory Gallagher he will have them in a good place and ready for Tyrone.

And he will be aware that Tyrone will pose a significant challenge.

I also think with the young lads coming through and doing so well in the league that Donegal are a better side. I’m not convinced that Tyrone are.

The two teams are going to be very cagey and will play with packed defences.

It is for that reason I feel Rory should be looking at other alternatives for full-forward, now that Michael Murphy is going to be one of our two midfielders.

He should be looking at the possibility of playing another big man inside along with Patrick McBrearty, a man that McBrearty can playoff.

Hugh McFadden, the Killybegs man, might be just the man for the job.

It could shake things up a little in front of the Tyrone posts and against a packed Tyrone defence.

But I’m not going to tell Rory Gallagher how to suck eggs.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.