DROMORE manager Ciaran Meenagh admits that both St Dympna’s and Sunday’s Championship opponents Clonoe might well feel that they could have added more to their O’Neill Cup roll of honour over the past decade.
While the two protagonists in the weekend blockbuster at Carrickmore have won half of the Tyrone County titles competed for in the past ten years (Dromore in 2007, ‘09, ‘11 and Clonoe 2008, ‘13), Meenagh feels that a couple of others have also slipped by during that period.
“ Clonoe should have definitely won more Championships. They won in 2008 and 2013 and have been there or thereabouts a few times on top of that.
“Dromore won three and I suppose were fortunate enough in one or two of them but other times they have been unlucky in the odd semi-final. Both clubs would have reason to feel they have left one or two behind.”
Dromore come into the Championship in fine fettle having clinched a top four play-off spot in the Senior League courtesy of victory over Omagh last Sunday evening.
It was a victory which came at a price however with the experienced Sean McDonnell leaving the fray early on with an arm injury. Meenagh explains that the St Dympna’s season as a whole has been disrupted by injuries, with their key county trio also missing a sizeable chunk of the Division One campaign.
“ It has been challenging enough given the amount of injuries we have had. Even when we have had the county men we have never had the three of them together, Niall (Sludden) was injured at the start of the year, and then Cathal (McCarron) and Ronan (McNabb) picked up bad injuries at different times so that has been frustrating.
“Sean has now picked up his injury against Omagh. I suppose that’s always the danger of playing this game seven days before the biggest game of your season to date in the Championship.
“ It was really competitive and I suppose one or two of the other final league games weren’t with teams leaving out a few men. But that can work both ways too and maybe having the tough league game with Omagh might stand to us. We were both wanting to get into the top four.
“ That’s the risk you have to take but I suppose when you see Mayo playing football every week, as well as Waterford in the hurling, it can be of real benefit too. Those teams had match sharpness and you see the value of that. They weren’t going in undercooked.”
As for Sunday’s renewal of acquaintances with the Rahillys, whom Dromore beat in dramatic fashion in the 2011 final, Meenagh is expecting another fierce tussle between two genuine heavyweight contenders.
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Posted: 4:37 pm September 7, 2017