Coalisland defenders are the backbone of the Tyrone Allstars

Michael McKernan caps a great year with his inclusion on the team of Tyrone SFC Picture by Philip Walsh
Francis Mooney

Francis Mooney selects his Allstar select based on performances in this year's Tyrone SFC

1 Mark McReynolds (Edendork)

THE modern game requires goalkeepers to work on many aspects of their game, but McReynolds’s strength lies in good old-fashioned shot-stopping.

He came to his side’s rescue on many occasions as the St Malachy’s reached the last four, and a succession of fine saves against Galbally in the quarter-final were particular highlights of a memorable campaign. Also influential in organising the defence in front of him and motivating his team-mates.

2 Stephen McNally (Coalisland)

LED by example as Na Fianna captain as a famous club rose to the pinnacle once again.

A commanding presence at the back, he used his experience to organise and delegate while never flinching from a challenge himself.

Consistency is one of his many qualities, and through a challenging series his level of performance never dipped as he took on a number of formidable opponents and came out on top.

A positive force pushing forward from the heart of defence as well, his contribution to the offensive effort was also immense.

3 Padraig Hampsey (Coalisland)

THE Allstar underlined his class as the fulcrum of Coalisland’s defence as the club won a 10th senior championship title.

Forceful and inspirational going forward, he kicked some superb long-range points in the earlier rounds, but was more than happy to revert to a less adventurous role when a dangerous opponent required personal attention.

Whatever the brief, he never let the side down, rising to the challenge magnificently to win his first club championship medal.

4 Eoghan Hampsey (Coalisland)

JUST shaded his corner-back colleague Dan Fee for the number four slot, chiefly due to a brilliant man-marking job in the county final.

Hampsey was tasked to shadow Killyclogher’s ace attacker Mark Bradley in the O’Neill Cup decider, and held the county forward to a single point from play.

It was a triumphant climax to a season of consistency and supreme effectiveness as a defender with all the necessary qualities, particularly his tackling, marking and alertness to dangerous situations.

5 Michael McKernan (Coalisland)

AN impressive newcomer with Tyrone this year, 20-year-old McKernan has been a regular with his club for a number of seasons, and his experience was more evident with each passing game.

While never failing in his defensive duties, he added thrust and impetus to the offensive effort as an attacking wing-back with searing pace and impressive ball skills.

He consistently linked effectively with the attack as he made a massive contribution to the club’s success.

6 Michael Cassidy (Ardboe)

ONE of the most effective performers in the 2018 Tyrone SFC, Cassidy was a rock at the heart of the Ardboe defence, making a key contribution to his side’s run to the semi-finals.

His reading of the game set him apart as having one of the most intelligent football brains in the county.

Cassidy has taken on several key man-marking roles, emerging with distinction on each occasion, while never failing to make a positive impact in his side’s offensive cause.

7 Matthew Murnaghan (Killyclogher)

AT just 18 years of age, he brought a breath of fresh air to this year’s championship.

The flying wing-back thrilled Killyclogher supporters with his attacking raids from deep, picking off a number of delightful scores to help the club reach a third championship final in four years.

Solid in defence as well, he proved a match for several quality attackers as he announced his arrival on the senior stage. A player with an exciting future.

8 Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher)

THE heartbeat of the Killyclogher team, McCann’s energy was a constant motivator throughout a championship campaign that brought a third appearance in the decider in four years.

Tyrone fans are well aware of the pace he possesses, and time and again he left opponents in his wake with defence-splitting runs from all angles and ranges.

Also chipped in with valuable scores, including a brilliant goal in the final, but it was not enough to deny Coalisland in their bid for revenge for the 2016 replay defeat.

9 Niall Morgan (Edendork)

THE Tyrone goalkeeper was a revelation as an outfield player during Edendork’s memorable run to the semi-finals this season.

A commanding sweeper and midfield general, his surging runs from deep were a feature of the club’s heroic attempt to reach a first ever county final, which ended with a one-point loss to Coalisland.

Morgan rose to the occasion at crucial times, hitting some spectacular scores from frees and play throughout a campaign which won his club many admirers.

10 Peter Herron (Coalisland)

THE young half-forward was a revelation this season, bringing levels of energy and passion to his game that rubbed off on his team-mates.

A tenacious tackler often seen turning over possession deep in his own defence, his pace on the breakaway is a valuable asset to a team that places an emphasis on transition to attack.

The 21-year-old also chipped in with some vital scores, including a goal that helped his side get through a tricky semi-final against Edendork.

11 Conall McCann (Killyclogher)

A CONSISTENT performer for the Ballinamullan side. Commanding in the air and strong and direct in running with the ball, he also contributed valuable scores from long-range free kicks.

And it was his stoppage time goal that sent a semi-final clash with Ardboe to extra-time when all seemed lost. McCann was always to the fore when his side faced a difficult challenge, never shirking his responsibilities.

12 Nathan Donnelly (Killyclogher)

ONE of the unsung heroes of the St Mary’s team, Donnelly was a valuable performer throughout this year’s championship.

His work rate never waned from throw-in to final whistle, and he was always in the thick of the action as Killyclogher marched through to the decider.

Donnelly’s input as part of a defensive screen, a link from defence to attack or a man-marker can not be overstated, and he typified the togetherness that bonded a tightly-knit group of players.

13 Darren McCurry (Edendork)

THE former Tyrone attacker is still one of the most potent finishers in the club game within the county, and he produced a series of sparkling performances in Edendork’s run to the last four.

He ended the campaign as one of the leading scorers with 0-18, including some vital points that decided tight games. His work rate and willingness to drop back to deep positions to initiate offensive moves represented another side to his game.

14 Shay McGuigan (Ardboe)

HAD arguably his finest season in the Ardboe shirt, turning in a string of brilliant attacking performances to finish as the championship’s top scorer.

He produced consistently high quality performances throughout the O’Neill Cup series, grabbing late winning scores against both Clonoe and Trillick.

A driving force for the loughshore side, his accurate finishing saw him rack up 3-11 in three outings, including a goal in every game, while also putting in tireless shifts around midfield and in defence.

15 Patrick McNeice (Coalisland)

EVERY successful team needs a trusted marksman, and McNeice has been fulfilling the role for Coalisland for many seasons.

Once again he rose to the challenge with a sizeable return of 1-14 that saw him finish third in the overall scoring chart. Accurate from play and from placed balls, he continues to deliver for Na Fianna, and he displayed his predatory instincts with the second-half goal that turned the final in his side’s favour.

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