Chief contenders enter the race for the O'Neill Cup in Tyrone

Jason McAnulla is one of the a number of experienced Omagh have in their attack as they prepare for their Tyrone SFC clash with Ardboe Picture: Seamus Loughran
Francis Mooney

First round action in the LCC Group Tyrone SFC continues today with some of the chief contenders entering the race for the O'Neill Cup.

At Plunkett Park, Omagh take on Ardboe in a tie that looks too close to call (1.30pm).

Both sides struggled for consistency during the League, but showed enough quality to suggest that they can challenge for the title.

Ardboe will be hoping to have All-Ireland winner Michael O'Neill back in action, following a lengthy absence through injury.

With David Mulgrew playing some of the best football of his career up front, alongside Eugene Teague, they have a cutting edge, complemented by the experience of Kyle Coney and Shay McGuigan.

Omagh will be without injured attacker Connor O'Donnell, but they have proven finishers in Ronan O'Neill, Conan Grugan and Jason McAnulla.

Conor Meyler is the heartbeat of their team, and with Ciaran McLaughlin and Aidan Clarke anchoring a steady defence, they will be difficult to break down.

Later at Galbally, Errigal Ciaran will go in as favourites to get the better of Moy (4pm).

Ace attacker Ruairi Canavan is an injury doubt, but Errigal have many others who can keep the score-board ticking, such as Darragh Canavan, Peter Harte and Tommy Canavan.

Ben McDonnell, Eoin Kelly and Joe Oguz combined in a solid outfit that has few weaknesses.

Moy midfielder Colm Cavanagh is expected to return after missing the latter part of a difficult league campaign which will conclude with a relegation play-off against Clonoe.

Up front, the Tir na nOgs have skilful finishers in Michael Conroy and Ryan Coleman, while Steve Donaghy and Mark Gribben are important figures.

Tomorrow, a double bill at Edendork begins with the clash of Moortown and Clonoe (1.30pm).

Moortown, the reigning intermediate champions, have completed a solid league campaign following their return to senior football, and will feel they can shock the O'Rahilly's.

Experience is on Clonoe's side, and with Connor McAliskey in fine scoring form, they will want to play on the front foot, channelling plenty of ball through Declan McClure and Steven McNulty around the middle.

Brian McLernon's energy and drive is a key element in the loughshore side's approach, and if they can get enough quality ball to Ryan Kelly and Peter Devlin, they may get over the line.

Loughmacrory meet Derrylaughan in a repeat of last year's first round, which the St Teresa's won narrowly.

If they are to repeat that result, they'll need accurate finishing from Cathaoir Gallagher and Pauraic Meenagh, and a strong midfield showing from Cathal Donaghy.

Allstar midfielder Brian Kennedy is a key man for Derrylaughan, who will look to Tomas Carney and James Donnelly for the scores that could see them through.