IT’S an opportunity afforded to few Tyrone clubs given the fiercely competitive nature of the domestic Championships but Tattyreagh are desperate to make the most of their second crack at Ulster.
The St Patrick’s suffered heartbreak last season on the provincial stage when going down narrowly to Naomh Colmcille of Donegal in the semi-final of the Ulster Junior Club Championship. Taking a significant step up in quality this term as they dipped their toes into Intermediate waters for the first time, few expected the Tatts to feature at the business end of the Tyrone knockout tournament, never mind harbour loftier ambitions on the Ulster front. Yet here they stand twelve months on from that shattering loss at Celtic Park, again on the cusp of a dream Ulster Final appearance.
Gareth Mimnagh was one of Tattyreagh’s goalscorers in their impressive Ulster Intermediate first round success against Armagh outfit St Peter’s a fortnight ago.
And ahead of another trip to the Athletic Grounds this Saturday night to tackle St Enda’s of Antrim in the semi-final, he believes that they are better placed to cope with the magnitude of the occasion than was the case in 2017.
“Experience is the biggest thing we will have learnt from last year. Last year we won our first ever Championship and this year we have gone on and won our second so experience is massive. It doesn’t faze the lads now. We have the same routine going into every big game, the two Stevies (managers McHugh and Ferguson) get our match ups spot on. Every man knows what they have to do.”
After catching the eye beating a star-studded Currin team last season which included some stellar Monaghan names, like Jack McCarron and Dick Clerkin, the party turned flat for the Tatts when they subsequently fell to Naomh Colmcille 2-7 to 1-9 in the semi-final. And while the level of competition this year is markedly higher given they are mixing it with top Division Two sides, as opposed to Division Three, corner forward Mimnagh believes that lessons have been learned.
“We came into Ulster last year and we won the first round. We then went into the semi-final probably a bit complacent.
“So this year we knew after winning Tyrone that we had to regroup and go at it stronger than last year. “
Gareth admits that the Tatts are living the dream at the minute and are keen to continue their remarkable championship odyssey which stretches back now over fifteen months.
FULL REPORT IN TODAY’S ULSTER HERALD