A TYRONE hurling season like no other will culminate today at Healy Park with the annual showdown that will this year see Carrickmore Eire Ogs once again in the role of challenges against their old rivals.
In 2019, the clash between the two of them in the final captured the imagination. A thrilling contest eventually saw the Eoghan Ruadh men from Dungannon emerge victorious to achieve their first ever fourth consecutive title.
It means that Carrickmore now have to go right back to 2017 for their most recent triumph. But the fluctuating nature of Tyrone hurling will ensure that small margins will once again decide the destination of the Benburb Cup.
As a result, the Eire Ogs have the big incentive to make their mark. They are managed jointly this year by former players Brendan Begley and Damien Maguire and, of course, have a wealth of experience to look towards for inspiration as they bid to regain the Benburb Cup.
There have been a lot of understandable uncertainties surrounding this year’s hurling activity. Nevertheless, the one certainty is that there will be little more than a point or two separating the teams when the final whistle sounds at Healy Park sometime on Saturday evening.
“I don’t think it matters whether Dungannon won the title last year, because it’s always important to win the championship and there’s never much between the two teams, and definitely never more than a few points here or there,” said Brendan Begley.
“The outcome of last year’s final will have no bearing on how this game goes. It’s not hard to get the player raised for this game. During the lockdown everyone was doing their own training and then after we came back in it gave everybody a boost.
“With no league hurling, it has been difficult for ourselves and Dungannon to get game time. But we have just been trying to get friendlies against whoever we can and, with the season that it is, it’s very hard to know what way you’re going.”
FULL STORY IN THURSDAY’S ULSTER HERALD AND DUNGANNON HERALD