McKenna takes first steps in senior championship with Eglish

Tyrone's Conor McKenna will gets his first taste of senior championship action with his club Eglish when they face Pomeroy tonight Picture: Seamus Loughran.
By Francis Mooney

LCC Group Tyrone SFC first round: Eglish v Pomeroy (tonight, Healy Park, 6.45pm); Trillick v Galbally (tonight, Healy Park, 8.30pm)

HEALY Park hosts a double bill of LCC Group Tyrone SFC action this evening as a weekend programme of first round ties gathers pace.

Newly-promoted Eglish face Pomeroy in the opener, which features a number of members of Tyrone’s All-Ireland winning team.

Conor McKenna is set to make his senior championship debut for his club as Eglish take on a challenge they feel they can meet.

Kieran McGeary, a contender for Footballer of the Year, is joined by fellow Sam Maguire Cup winners Frank Burns and Hugh Pat McGeary in the Pomeroy side, and the trio have that star quality that will inspire those around them.

Brendan Burns and Ryan Loughran are also capable of making a big impact in a Pomeroy side keen to revisit the club’s memorable Championship run of 2017.

McKenna’s addition is a major boost to an Eglish side that has taken some time to find its feet in senior football after winning promotion at the end of last season.

Along with his brothers Emmet and Ryan, Ethan Jordan and the McGleenan brothers, Matthew and Michael, they will look to impose themselves on the game early on and help the less experienced players to settle.

Eglish will have several SFC debutants in their side against a more experienced Plunketts outfit that will be fancied to progress to the quarter-finals.

Last year’s beaten finalists Trillick take on Galbally for the second year running in the evening’s main event.

Trillick negotiated that first round hurdle, but it was drama all the way thereafter, with two penalty shoot-outs, including a sudden death defeat to Dungannon in the decider.

They will be strongly fancied to repeat last season’s success over the Pearses, with a strong contingent from Tyrone’s All-Ireland winning squad at the heart of their challenge.

Mattie Donnelly, Richie Donnelly, Rory Brennan and Lee Brennan will power the Red challenge, and they have plenty of quality elsewhere in their side, such as Daire Gallagher, Liam Gray and the Garrity brothers, Simon and James.

Tyrone panellists Liam Rafferty and Conor Quinn are key men for Galbally, and along with Ronan Nugent, Daniel Kerr and Cormac Donnelly, they will do everything in their power to negate a quality opponent.

Trillick have the star quality and appear to hold all the aces as they pursue a second successive final appearance.

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