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Over 100 GAA games played in first weekend back

MORE than 100 matches at four different levels have now taken place in Tyrone following the return of gaelic games action last weekend.

Hundreds of adult players participated in senior and reserve matches on Sunday afternoon. U-14 games were held last Saturday morning, the U-16 League began on Tuesday night and the Minor competitions resumed last night (Thursday).

Add in action on the Ladies scene and it has been a hectic few days for gaelic games n the Red Hand county.

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The Chairman of the Tyrone Competitions Control Committee, Martin Sludden, said the decision to abolish relegation for the 2020 season was ensuring that clubs could concentrate solely on the playing of matches at this critical time.

“That was the one big thing which I had been anxious to see happening because of the year that’s in it,” he said.

“We have had U-14, U-16, Minor, Reserve and Senior teams all out playing in the past week. It has been flat out, and the heavy programme of games has meant a big commitment for players, officials and referees.

“But everyone want to get back out playing and it’s good to see that this is now happening. Even though relegation isn’t there, the same determination to try and win is there.

“One of the key things also is that these three-four league matches in the coming weeks are there as preparation for the championships next month. It also gives clubs that competitive element and reduces the pressure to play friendly games.

“The underage games have also gone well with the vast majority of games taking place on schedule. Because of the time constraints this year, it’s vital that matches go ahead as planned because we cannot afford to have any slippages.”

The Dromore official also cited the fact that each reserve match took place as planned, a new sign of progress after several years in which the failure of many clubs to field at this level was a cause of concern.

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“There has been a lot of passion shown for Reserve football and ensuring that teams fielded and fixtures are fulfilled is a priority for this year. Our hope is that will continue to be the case because Reserve teams are a building block for senior sides,” he added.

Action in the All-County Leagues continues this Sunday afternoon with another full round of 24 fixtures in the Reserve and Senior Leagues starting at 2pm and 3.45pm respectively.

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