TYRONE hurling goalkeeper, Conor McElhatton, enjoyed a day to remember between the posts just a day after the funeral of his father.
The Eire Og player produced a string of saves as the county progressed to the Nickey Rackard Cup final thanks to a 2-24 to 1-21 victory over Donegal in the blistering heat of Pairc Colmcille.
As the final whistle sounded, the goalkeeper’s teammates and brothers rushed to him in the goalmouth to pay tribute to his performance and character in lining out.
His father, Jimmy, who died this week, was groundsman at the venue and was a selector with the Tyrone hurling team which won the All-Ireland Junior title in 1996.
The Tyrone team wore black armbands as a mark of respect to Mr McElhatton, and the class of 2021 produced a display worthy of his memory.
Goals from Conor Grogan and Cain Ferguson helped them into a 2-11 to 1-11 lead at half-time and they maintained that advantage on the resumption.
Conor McElhatton showed determination and skill in thwarting the Donegal attack as they went in search of goals, while Damien Casey’s accuracy from frees and play, as well as the efforts of Bryan McGurk and Lorcan Devlin kept the Red Hands in control and they held out for a memorable win.
Team manager, Michael McShane, dedicated the win to Conor and the McEhatton family and in memory of the role that their father had played in the GAA locally.
They now play Mayo in the Nickey Rackard Cup Final next weekend.