Tyrone one step from second All-Ireland U20 title in three years

The Red Hands impressed in their semi-final win over Roscommon

Eoin McElholm starred as Omagh CBS swept to MacRory and Hogan Cup glory earlier this year
Eoin McElholm has enjoyed back-to-back Hogan Cup wins with Omagh CBS and hopes to add another national title with Tyrone's U20s

EirGrid All-Ireland U20 Football Championship final

Kerry v Tyrone (Sunday, Laois Hire O’Moore Park, 1pm, live on TG4)

TYRONE against Kerry. Tyrone as underdogs, Kerry as favourites. We’ve seen that once or twice down through the years. Little disturbs a Kerryman so much.

Michael Rafferty and Gavin Potter have had a taste of an upset before, denying the Kingdom the crown in the 2022 Eirgrid U20 All-Ireland semi, before Kildare felt the Red Hand wrath.

Spare a thought for the suspended Ruairí McHugh, who can join that duo on two medals, but it looks like it will be a long day after a long week. It seems he shall be planted in the stands, suspended, left to reflect some more, to hope, and to pray.

Eoin McElholm will hope he hasn’t shown his cards too early, after a phenomenal semi-final showing as Roscommon were swept aside 3-18 to 3-8.

Often finals take on a life of their own, à la Eder and Portugal in 2016.

Expect the unexpected, you don’t have to warn Kerry twice, nor Tomás Ó Sé.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the fact that this is the Kingdom’s first decider at this level since 2008. Expectations are low, they say.

You find it hard to believe in a land driven by two things: 1) Football. 2) Success.

Having edged out Meath, Ó Sé describes this as “the toughest test of them all”.

They will be eager to ease the load on Cormac Dillon, scorer of 1-26 this year. Indeed, no-one else has recorded more than eight scores, compared to Tyrone who have six in that bracket.

Portlaoise will be something different though, something we haven’t seen. Pressure will make statues of some and diamonds of others. The form guide goes out the window.

Odds H: 4/6 D: 15/2 A: 6/4

Verdict Draw