David Mulgrew back to bolster Ardboe attack against Trillick
David Mulgrew returns to the Ardboe attack for tomorrow's (Sat) LCC Tyrone SFC quarter-final against Trillick at Pomeroy.
The Tyrone starlet missed the opening round win over Clonoe due to suspension, having been sent off in the latter stages of last year's championship defeat to Omagh.
His class, creativity and finishing power will be a major boost to the lough shore side's prospect of taking their championship journey a step further.
And while the Rossas will add to their playing resources, Trillick must plan without one of their most important players, Richie Donnelly.
The Tyrone attacker will play no part in this year's O'Neill Cup series after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus cartilage.
His influence around the central area will be missed by a St Macartan's side bidding for a second championship title in four years.
But the Reds can still expect to compete strongly I the middle third through Mattie Donnelly and Ryan Gray.
Up front, they have the most prolific finisher in the county in Lee Brennan, whose seven points helped them see off Donaghmore in the first round by 2-11 to 1-7.
James Garrity is also capable of finding the target, while veteran attacker Niall Gormley is another potent attacking option off the bench.
Rory Brennan is the cornerstone of a disciplined Trillick defence in which Ruairi Kelly, Damian Kelly and Niall Donnelly continue to display remarkable consistency.
But manager Nigel Seaney regards as workrate as the key ingredient which could help his side to success.
“The first requirement is that you're honest, that you're prepared to work, prepared to put in a shift,” he said.
“You hope, given the quality that's available there, that at some stage it comes to the top and it shines.
“But if you don't have workrate, you have nothing, bottom line.”
The men from Donnelly Park have got the better of Ardboe in recent championship meetings, but this one looks like being a finely balanced contest.
The Rossas showed passion and desire in their 2-9 to 1-11 win over Clonoe in the first round, a result which has boosted confidence.
With Kyle Coney operating around the middle as an accurate distribution hub, their pacey attackers can expect a supply of quality possession.
Michael O'Neill and Shay McGuigan scored the second half goals against Clonoe, and their powerful running from deep adds to the positive momentum they will seek to create.
But Ardboe's prospects for success hinge on a defence that showed no fear against the O'Rahilly's, despite the inexperience of some of its members.
Conall Devlin is a corner back with real potential, while Michael Cassidy and Simon Teague can be depended upon to rise to the challenge.
Manager Gavin Wylie was encouraged by the manner in which his defence stood up to a late Clonoe onslaught in the last round.
“It was nice to get over the line in a match like that. We had some great performances,” he said.
“In the second half they peppered our goal with high balls in, and it was touch and go whether we were going to get over the line.”