Sludden ready for Mayo challenge

ONE more win is the seemingly simple task facing Tyrone as their battle for survival in Division One of the National League reaches its climax.

But the bid to clinch the victory required to secure that top flight place for 2019 is easier said that done.

For, the Red Hands must defeat either All-Ireland finalists, Mayo, in round seven this Sunday in Castlebar or wait until the final match of the campaign against Kerry in Healy Park.


Both the players, management and supporters will, of course, be aiming to complete the job this Sunday against their Connacht opponents.

That would set things up perfectly for the visit of their old rivals from the Kingdom on March 25.

Mickey Harte and his players took an important step forward with last weekend’s 2-13 to 1-10 win over Donegal.

Now their determination to maintain the momentum is clear as they prepare for the trip into the west.

A good record away from home against Mayo provides an encouraging background for them, despite the disappointments of a number of narrow championship defeats at Croke Park in the past decade.

One player anxious to sustain his personal excellent form to date is Niall Sludden.

The Dromore man has been spearheading many of Tyrone’s best attacking efforts in recent games and is understandably relishing the big clash against opponents seen by some as the only team capable of denying Dublin a fourth consecutive Sam Maguire Cup later this year.


In the meantime, though, he is well aware of the importance of this Sunday’s clash as Tyrone’s mixed Division One campaign reaches its crescendo.

“Our two points against Donegal were badly needed when you looked at the table.

“They were the crucial thing and thankfully it all worked out for us,” said the St Dympna’s clubman.

“But there’s no doubt about it, we’re going to have to go out in the next two games and prove ourselves. Things aren’t safe yet, but definitely we’re in a much better position now than was the case before last Saturday night.

“It doesn’t matter how we get the wins as long as the points are secured. The work isn’t done yet and we have to go to Mayo away this weekend and try and get another good result.

“We’ll be going down there needing the win and it’s definitely going to be a big challenge considering their position among the top teams in the past few years. But it’s one that we’re looking forward to as well.”

TYRONE received a hero’s welcome at a rather informal homecoming at Healy Park this evening, 24 hours after All-Ireland...


Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW