Football

Tyrone supporters pick dream team for Drumragh Sarsfield's

Cormac McAnallen has been included on the Tyrone Dream Team
Cormac McAnallen has been included on the Tyrone Dream Team Cormac McAnallen has been included on the Tyrone Dream Team

SIXTY years after the county’s first Ulster Senior Football Championship success, Tyrone supporters have picked their ‘Dream Team’.

A star-studded line-up of greats has been selected in a novel competition organised by the Drumragh Sarsfield's club. The Red Hands have won 13 further provincial titles and three All-Irelands in the intervening years and legendary figures from all of the successful eras have earned places on the greatest Tyrone team.

Four members of the 1956 breakthrough team are included - goalkeeper Thady Turbitt, teenage captain and midfielder Jody O’Neill and attackers Iggy Jones and Frankie Donnelly. Following a lean period during the 1960s, success visited the county once again during the ’70s and it was no coincidence the resurgence coincided with the emergence of the great Frank McGuigan. Tyrone reached their first All-Ireland final in 1986 and three members of the team that lost to Kerry in the decider are honoured - Joe Mallon, Kevin McCabe and Eugene McKenna.

It’s no surprise the greatest representation comes from the group of players who won three All-Ireland titles between 2003 and '08. The late Cormac McAnallen takes the full-back spot, with Conor Gormley, Brian Dooher, Peter Canavan, Joe McMahon and Sean Cavanagh also included. And from the class of 2016, who collected Tyrone’s 14th Ulster title last Sunday, Mattie Donnelly wins a place on the team.

The side was selected in advance by an independent external panel of experts and held in a sealed envelope by Drumragh Sarsfield's club president Monsignor Joseph Donnelly. Entrants were presented with six nominations for each position, with a galaxy of stars to choose from.

The prize of £1,000 for the entrant who came closest to naming the team went to Cillian Woods, who picked 12 of the 15. Each participant was entered in a free draw for a set of O’Neill's jerseys for their club, with Eugene McDonagh of Ederney winning the prize.

Meanwhile, a special event to celebrate Tyrone’s Ulster Championship breakthrough in 1956 is to be held at Garvaghey on July 29, 60 years to the day after that historic event. The Red Hands have appeared in 22 provincial finals, winning 14, and last Sunday’s 0-13 to 0-11 victory over Donegal in the decider at Clones brought them level with Armagh in third place in the roll of honour.

TYRONE DREAM TEAM


1. Thady Turbitt; 2. Joe McMahon, 3. Cormac McAnallen, 4. Joe Mallon; 5. Kevin McCabe, 6. Conor Gormley, 7. Matthew Donnelly; 8. Jody O'Neill, 9. Eugene McKenna; 10. Brian Dooher, 11. Sean Cavanagh, 12. Iggy Jones; 13. Frank Donnelly, 14. Frank McGuigan, 15. Peter Canavan