IT’S a case of winner-takes-all when Omagh Accies and Clonmel lock horns in an All Ireland play-off game at the Thomas Mellon Playing Fields tomorrow (Saturday).
For both protagonists the equation is simple – win and they face their own battle of the Boyne (the team that finished second bottom of AIL 2C) for a place in All Ireland ranks next season.
That though will be easier said and done and first and foremost the Accies will have to overcome the challenge of the Munster champions.
Like Omagh, Clonmel defeated Ballina (10-6) and both teams go to war in a bid to win the relegation-promotion play-off spot behind Malahide.
Accies skipper Kyle Alexander is relishing Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated showdown at Coneywarren.
“The mood in the camp is good and the players are really looking forward to it,” said the Gillygooley businessman.
“We have looked at a few video clips of Clonmel in action.
“They would appear to have a big pack, have a decent lineout but, beyond that, it’s hard to know what to expect when we haven’t played them before and you are only going by what other people are telling you.
“I suppose we will start as favourites given we have home advantage and considering Clonmel beat Ballina narrowly and they didn’t really pose Malahide much of a threat.
“On our own patch we have to fancy our chances. The players will be well up for it and while we know what’s at stake we aren’t looking any further than Saturday.”
Coach Phil Marshall was expected to name his starting 15 at training on Tuesday night as he prepares his players for the most important game of the season.
Centre Alan Heaney is expected to come back into the reckoning after missing the 17-7 victory at Ballina but beyond that few changes to the match day squad are anticipated.
Irrespective of what players get the nod, the skipper is in no doubt it’s going to take a fully committed team performance to get across the line.
“It took us a while to get settled into the Ballina game but once we did there was no looking back,” added Alexander.
“On Saturday we need to hit the ground running.”
REPORT AND REACTION IN MONDAY’S TYRONE HERALD