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Tyrone face step up against Donegal

Sean Cavanagh and Tyrone face stiff test against Donegal

A MASSIVE re-match for Tyrone against their old rivals from Donegal later this month is the big prize set to finally breath life into a lacklustre Ulster Championship.

It’s a classic encounter that will see the Red Hands bid to repeat their Anglo Celt Cup success of last year. They also be hoping to turn the tables on them from a heavy National League loss earlier this season.

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Trillick player Mattie Donnelly is fully focused on the task at hand, and has no doubt that the June 18 clash could well be the game of the championship so far.

“Donegal will probably point to the Ulster Final last year as a big incentive for them and they’ve spoken about that game a lot since then. So, they’ll be really up for,” he said.

“We got a taste that they were up for it in the league game and the hurt from last year was obvious. They’ll be dipping into that even more so now in the championship when the stakes are higher.

“Tyrone just have to match that hunger level. But there’s a massive gap from the league game and ever since we’ve been trying to address things to close that gap.

“The game on June 18 will show whether we’ve managed that. It’s going to be a case of giving things a rattle.

“Our win over Derry has given us a boost, it was a good day, the pitch conditions were good and a lot of players were going well. Players were moving well, and there were some good scores taken.

“When a team is doing that and winning, you have to be happy,” he added.

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Defeats against Donegal, Mayo and Kerry in the concluding rounds of the league raised questions over Tyrone’s prospects for the championship.

However, as expected, they returned strongly and nobody was surprised at the relatively comfortable nature of the 0-22 to 0-11 win over Derry on Sunday.

It has set up that latest meeting with Donegal, a game that is sure to draw a bumper attendance to St Tiernach’s Park in Clones.

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