PREVIEW: Connolly’s u-21s prepare to take on Red Hands

James McMahon will be vice captain as Fermanagh take on Tyrone in Healy Park tonight.

James McMahon will be vice captain as Fermanagh take on Tyrone in Healy Park tonight.

TONIGHT (WEDNESDAY) sees Fermanagh make their bow in the Ulster under 21 championship. And they could have hardly asked for a taller order in the first round than Tyrone in Healy Park.

As ever the Red Hands will be strong favourites, however Fermanagh manager Vinny Connolly is travelling with a strategy he hopes will give the hosts something to think about.


“Tyrone are strong and fast. They have Cathal McShane, who plays for the seniors, at midfield for them. They also have a couple of sharp forwards,” said Connolly.

“We’ll go down there with a game-plan and give a performance and that’s all you can ask for. The first 20 minutes, the first half is going to be vital to us. The talk in Tyrone is that they’re going to try and put us away in the first half.

“The build-up has gone very well, but there’s six fellas involved with the seniors and we’ve only had them for this past couple of weeks,” said Connolly.

The under 21s on the senior were given the Limerick game off last Sunday. With the likes of James McMahon, James Allen and Eoin McManus having seen decent game time under Pete McGrath, this is a Fermanagh side not lacking in big match experience. That experience will be thoroughly tested under the Healy Park lights this evening.

“Omagh’s not going to be an easy place to go to, but any time Fermanagh has played Tyrone at senior level they’ve always done well. The draw hasn’t been very nice to us. We were away Donegal last year and we’re away to Tyrone this year, but you just have to accept that,” said Connolly.

Fermanagh team to face Tyrone:

Paddy Sweeney (Belcoo); Shane Mimna (Erne Gaels), James Allen (Kinawley), Shane McManus (Teemore); Ciaran Corrigan (Maguiresbridge), James McMahon (Roslea), Tommy O’Hara (Aghadrumsee); Paddy Reihill (Enniskillen Gaels), Tom Clarke (Lisnaskea); Gary McKenna (Derrygonnelly), Conor McCauley (Belnaleck), Sean McManus (Kinawley); Tommy McCaffrey (Erne Gaels), Eddie Courtney (Aghadrumsee), Eoin McManus (Teemore).


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