Late Mayo miss haunted me admits Tyrone ace Darren McCurry
DARREN McCurry admits the desire to make amends for his late miss in last year's All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Mayo is driving him on this year.
Trailing by a point heading into the minutes of a tense, tactical battle, Tyrone missed three gilt-edged chances to level it up when Tiernan McCann, Cathal McCarron and Niall Morgan all missed the target from distance.
A final opportunity would present itself, and the one man Mickey Harte would have wanted with his hands on the ball was McCurry.
Instead of sizing up his options, the Edendork man uncharacteristically snatched at his effort from the wing and watched in horror as the ball sailed wide, the final whistle following moments later.
“You have to look back at those things,” said McCurry.
“I kind of blamed myself for a couple of weeks after that because 99 times out of 100 I'd put that over with my eyes closed.
“To miss that there when you're meant to kick it over - that's my job - it really did hit me. You can say that other people missed but at the end of the day, I should've put that over the bar.”
Mayo went on to beat Tipperary in the semi-final before narrowly missing out on landing Sam Maguire after two titanic tussles with Dublin.
Meanwhile Tyrone and McCurry were left to wonder what might have been. If the same situation arises there will be a different outcome, he insists.
“Who knows what would've happened after that?
“That's what makes me come back, that's why this year I really am hungry. Feeling that feeling that, if I had put the work in at the start of the year, that might have gone over.
“It's a big motivation for me and this year, if I get that shot, I'm not going to miss it.”