GAA Football

Errigal Ciaran injury worries ahead of Tyrone SFC Final

Errigal Ciaran manager Pascal Canavan has injury concerns ahead of the Tyrone SFC Final.
Picture Seamus Loughran
Francis Mooney

ERRIGAL Ciaran manager Pascal Canavan is hoping to have a couple of key players fit for Sunday’s LCC Group Tyrone SFC final against Trillick.

Full-back Aidan McCrory and wing-forward Ronan McRory both missed the semi-final win over Carrickmore due to injury.

But they haven’t been ruled out of the Healy Park decider, and the return of the experienced pair would be a massive boost to the Dunmoyle club’s hopes of winning an eighth Tyrone senior title.

“If you were to ask Ronan or Aidy, they'd say they'll definitely be back. It's amazing how those injuries start to clear up at this time of the year. It's a credit to the boys, they've definitely been looking after themselves well,” said Canavan.

“They do come around from injuries quickly, they're both quick healers, so we're hopeful and confident that they'll both be available, but time will tell.”

The depth of Errigal’s squad enabled them to maintain consistency through the league in the absence of McCrory, Peter Harte and Ben McDonnell.

Canavan paid tribute to the dedication shown by the trio on their return to club involvement immediately after Tyrone’s exit from the All-Ireland series.

“We're probably lucky that we do have a big squad, that we're still competitive when the league games are going on over the summer.

“If the boys were swanning off on their nights off from Tyrone it might be a bigger issue, but we've been very lucky that the boys who have been involved with Tyrone, even going back to the likes of Enda McGinley, they've been just good club men.

“There's a good trend there that if the county men are available at all, they'll be here in the clubrooms. Petey and Aidy are setting a nice standard for all those U20 lads coming through too, so hopefully that continues to brush off on them.”

Errigal haven’t won the O’Neill Cup since 2012, but they feel they’re inching closer, and will appear in their second final in three years this weekend.

Their championship challenge started nervously with an unconvincing win over Eglish, but it has gathered pace as they moved through the rounds.

“With us sitting at the top of the table, and Eglish sitting at the bottom, you were never going to get that much credit for winning,” said Canavan.

“The performance wasn't great but we had been tracking Eglish closely in the league, and they'd two great performances, one beating Omagh two weeks before the championship, and they ran a very good Coalisland team close.

“We knew they had a bit of form and that they were going to ask questions of us. We had a reasonably good first-half and that bit of distance meant that we were probably always going to win it even if it was closer than many people expected.”

A stylish win over Omagh saw Errigal produce arguably their best performance in a number of seasons.

And in the semi-final, it was a derby clash with old foes Carrickmore, who went into the O’Neill Park clash with a short turnaround and limited recovery time following a midweek replay win.

“I suppose you can try to work it to your advantage that you have two games, that you're battle-hardened and playing at a very competitive level, or if you pick up a knock or two, it could really work against you.

“In general, there's a good build-up to Carrickmore games, especially up around Altamuskin and in around the border, all the fellas here would be well up for it, and players do feed off that. It's a good game to get ready for."

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