GAA Football

Dublin defeat hoping to be Tyrone's turning point: Cathal McShane

Tyrone's Cathal McShane is hoping the Red Hands find form

THEY'VE had several 'Killarney moments' already in 2022 but Tyrone attacker Cathal McShane hopes losing to Dublin will finally inspire the Red Hands to get their season up and running.

Losing to Kerry and leaking six goals in last year's Allianz League semi-final tie in Killarney proved to be a significant turning point for Tyrone in 2021, propelling them to All-Ireland success.

Captain Padraig Hampsey stated last month that he hoped losing to Armagh in Round 2 of this year's league might have a similar effect though there's been no obvious upturn so far.

In fact, with just two points from a possible six since then, they're in danger of relegation and need to beat Mayo this Saturday evening in what is a repeat of the 2021 All-Ireland decider.

"It definitely could be," said McShane of the Dublin defeat and the possibility of it being a turning point in their season, like Killarney.

"Dublin had zero points coming up so you knew they were going to be a dangerous animal in that situation.

"For ourselves, we just need to focus on going forward and getting a reaction and getting our season off and running because it doesn't take too much to start looking up and to start getting a more positive impact as well.

"There is small margins at play. We just know we need to keep working hard, trusting what we're about and positive things will happen."

McShane was speaking at the announcement that to celebrate 30 years of the Allianz Leagues, six counties - including the Tyrone footballers - will wear once off retro jerseys inspired by those worn in the first season of the company's sponsorship.

Hours earlier, McShane's attacking colleague gave a wide-ranging and at times hard hitting interview to the BBC's GAA Social podcast.

McCurry criticised the six players - Lee Brennan, Tiernan McCann, Mark Bradley, Ronan O'Neill, Hugh Pat McGeary and Michael Cassidy - who left the group in the wake of the All-Ireland win.

"I just felt that it was maybe, what way would you put it, an easy decision for some of those boys to walk away where maybe they were thinking a wee bit more about themselves than the Tyrone team and the people of Tyrone," said McCurry.

McShane agreed that the Red Hands would be in a better position if they'd retained all their players.

"No doubt if they'd stayed it would have made our squad even stronger for the next year and would have put us in a great position," said McShane.

"You could have asked would those guys have maybe challenged to try to get into the starting setup more often this year. And if you're having that competition within any team, you're going to be in a good position."

McCurry was critical of Harte for not fostering an environment for forwards to flourish.

"No doubt last year we were keeping more men up the field and stuff like that," said 2019 All-Star McShane. "But you could also look at 2019 as well, I would say that was probably one of my best seasons inside as a full-forward."

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