GAA Football

Dungannon's league form bodes well

Patrick Quinn in action for Dungannon against Trillick in the 2020 final. The sides are gearing up for a first-round repeat in this year's Tyrone championship. Picture by Seamus Loughran
Francis Mooney

DUNGANNON have moved to within reach of the Tyrone Division One title play-offs, but it’s all about getting things right for the Championship, according to attacker Patrick Quinn.

They hit the net five times in a weekend win over Greencastle, an encouraging sign of improving form ahead of next month’s O’Neill Cup clash with Trillick.

That 5-9 to 0-12 success stretched an unbeaten fun to five games, lifting the Clarke’s to seventh place in the Division One table, three points off the top.

“You’re thinking of every League game, but obviously in the back of your mind, you have Championship,” said Quinn.

“There were a few weeks there you were wondering where we would be getting points, but the last few weeks we have picked up a lot, and the last few weeks we have picked up a lot, and we’re getting ourselves built up the table.

“When you get to that stage, you’re not worried about points, you’re worried about performances.

“You’re always thinking of safety in the first half of the League, everyone is. But once you get there, you’re obviously thinking about performances, and about Championship football, which is obviously the big one.”

Squad strength is building, with the return of some key players from the USA and from injury.

Selection problems face manager Chris Rafferty in the weeks ahead, with a growing number of players in contention to face Trillick in a repeat of the sensational 2020 county final, which Dungannon won in a penalty shoot-out.

Highly rated wing back Mark McKearney is among those who are back in the fold following a spell in America, but there’s no such thing as automatic selection, and every player will have to fight for a place in the team.

“Mark has been a massive part of our team for the past few years, and obviously we have missed him,” said Quinn.

“But the boys that have been in there have done a massive job, and it will be a massive shift for him to get his place back, but knowing Mark, he will put the work in, and he’s a massively valuable player for us.”

GAA Football