THE Tyrone U20s went a long way towards purging the memories of the last two years in Friday evening’s cathartic comeback victory over Monaghan.
Being brutally honest, this group of players were a disappointment in the Ulster Minor Championship, losing successive first-round clashes against Derry in 2016 and 2017.
And when they granted Monaghan a seven-point head-start in Friday’s provincial quarter-final clash at Healy Park, well, a recurring nightmare seems to be the opportune phrase.
Were they simply not up to it? Was it a problem at managerial level? Could we use the development system at Garvaghey as a convenient scapegoat?
Those questions were answered in the negative, however, as the Tyrone youngsters found something from within to reel in their opponents with an exhibition of powerful and purposeful football.
Team manager Paul Devlin says they had in fact rehearsed for the possibility of being behind, but even he couldn’t have anticipated such a sluggish start – the scoreboard read 2-1 to no score after five minutes of play.
“That can happen on any given day. It just happened, the lads weren’t switched on but we’d rehearsed different situations like that and how to address them. The important thing was not to panic.
“We were facing into a very strong breeze but we just kept working and didn’t waste the ball. We tackled well and all our basic skills came to the fore.”
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