Hurling & Camogie

Tyrone need win in London to keep promotion hopes alive

The Exiles themselves haven’t given up on finishing in the top two

NOT ENOUGH:l Aidy Kelly's goal wasn't enough to reel in Warwickshire last weekend
Aidy Kelly Tyrone will look to Aidy Kelly to get the scores to see them past London

Allianz Hurling League Division 2B, round four

London v Tyrone (Sunday, Ruislip, 1pm)

IT looks like a three-way fight for second place in Division 2B between Donegal, Tyrone and Roscommon as they trail unbeaten Derry.

And Tyrone must beat London at Ruislip to keep alive their chances of a place in the League final.

Having drawn with Donegal last time out, the Red Hands cross the Irish Sea with confidence they can make it successive victories over the Exiles.

Much will rest on the finishing of Aidy Kelly, who hit 10 points, including the late equliser, as they salvaged a point from their Healy Park clash with Donegal.

They will also be looking for big performances from Lorcan Devlin, Joe McToal, Fionn Devlin, Oran McKee and Tiernan Morgan.

London lost to league leaders Derry by 1-27 to 2-15 in their last outing, and will feel they can build on an encouraging peformance as they face Ulster opposition again.

Jack Goulding, who hit 1-13 at Celtic Park, and Eoghan McHugh are the men who can unlock the Tyrone defence and give the home side a second win of the campaign.

Tyrone manager Stephen McGarry insists he will not be distracted by permutations as the League campaign approaches its closing stages.

“We don’t look at tables, we don’t look at possible outcomes, we’re just solely focused on doing our due diligence on London and looking to go out and perform to our max,” he said.

“The London trip is so important because it’s our next game, it’s the next game that we focus on.”

McGarry was heartened by the spirit shown by his players in fighting back to earn a draw with Donegal, but would prefer not to be needing late comebacks.

“We don’t want to be leaving ourselves in a position where we’re chasing a game in the dying minutes.

“We had created enough opportunities to go and win the game, so it’s not something that we want to be relying on the whole time.”

The return to action of experienced attacker Sean Óg Grogan, who had joined the management team, has given Tyrone added options up front.

“It’s about building up the panel, and that’s what we wanted to do, and obviously Sean Óg coming back in brings experience.

“We brought him into the management panel and then we brought him in as a player. I suppose Sean Óg could see the work that was going on with the players and wanted to get involved in it.

“And having that experience on the field with a lot of those younger players is invaluable.”