GAA Football

Future is bright for Tyrone despite U20 All-Ireland semi-final loss says assistant-manager Dermot Carlin

Darragh Canavan scored 1-1 for Tyrone U20s in yesterday's All-Ireland semi-final. Picture by Philip Walsh.
Andy Watters

TYRONE were denied a place in the All-Ireland U20 final in a dramatic shoot-out with Cork yesterday but assistant manager Dermot Carlin predicts bright futures for several of the losing side.

Wing-back Conall Grimes, Darragh Canavan, Mark McKeagney, Sean Og McAleer and Tiarnan Quinn were among the outstanding performers for the Red Hands yesterday but the loss of midfielder Joe Oguz to a 46th minute red card undermined their efforts against a neversaydie Cork outfit who unleashed four scorers off their bench and progressed to next Saturday’s decider against Dublin.

“I would be very surprised if there’s not four or five of those lads – probably even more – at senior trials next year,” said Killyclogher clubman Carlin who was an All-Ireland winner at minor and senior level with Tyrone.

“Without doubt there are lads who can step up. Conall Grimes could play wing half-back next weekend against Dublin. Not a problem at all to him. Joe Oguz in the middle of the field as well. Darragh (Canavan) as well… We have some top class players, lots of talented lads and no doubt we’ll see some of them in senior jerseys in years to come.

“We lost Antoin Fox (ankle injured) who will more than likely be a Tyrone senior next year and that was a savage, savage loss.”

Carlin described the sending off of midfielder Oguz midway through the second half as “very harsh” and also took issue with the black card shown to Cahir Goodwin, who had replaced the injured Fox after nine minutes.

“To me Joe didn’t even see that man beside him,” he said.

“He didn’t mean that (to strike out at Brian Hartnett) and it was very harsh. Cahir Goodwin went to kick the ball, the black card is for a deliberate trip – that was never a deliberate trip. The ball was there to be won and that was the wrong call and that is hard to take.”

Carlin had nothing but praise for his players – who led by seven points early in the second half – and is convinced that a number of them will force their way into the senior ranks before long.

“It is disappointing but you can’t fault the effort of the lads,” he said.

“They tried everything, they fired everything at it. To be down to 14 men and losing Antoin injured and Cahir to a black card…

“They showed tremendous character and tremendous fight even to be still in there but it caught up with us in the end. Their energy and their bench and us being down to 14 men was tough for us but still we fought hard until the end, we didn’t give up.

“We kept going, some of our kick-outs didn’t come off. Some of the things we tried, there was a wee slip here and there – it’s a game of inches sometimes.

“I said to the lads; ‘You don’t win every game, you can’t win every game’ but we fought hard and we gave it a go.”



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