Football

Tyrone senior hurling and minor football managers step down

Michael McShane led Tyrone to the Nickey Rackard Cup in 2022
Michael McShane led Tyrone to the Nickey Rackard Cup in 2022 Michael McShane led Tyrone to the Nickey Rackard Cup in 2022

Tyrone have two key management positions to fill following the weekend departure of senior hurling Michael McShane and minor football manager Gerard Donnelly.

Both men have stepped down after the completion of three-year terms, and both leave the roles on the back of successful spells in charge of their respective teams.

Ballycastle native McShane led the Red Hands to Nickey Rackard Cup triumph and the NHL Division 3A title last year, with the county subsequently competing in the Christy Ring Cup for the first time.

And they consolidated their status in both Ring Cup and Division 2B League this season.

Stewartstown clubman Donnelly won back-to-back Ulster Minor Championship titles, but exited this year’s series at the semi-final stage, losing to Monaghan in a dramatic penalty shoot-out at the weekend.

Announcing McShane’s decision to step away, a count board statement said: “Coiste Chontae Thír Eoghain wish to announce that Michael McShane has informed us of his decision to step down as manager of our Senior Hurling team.

“Appointed at the beginning of the 2021 season, Michael has brought Tyrone hurling to new heights – two Nickey Rackard Cup Final appearances, with that famous victory over Roscommon in Croke Park last year, as well as a Division 3A National Hurling League title.

“Today he steps down having helped secure our place in Division 2B and the Christy Ring Cup for next year. He was with us throughout the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.”

County chairperson Martin Sludden added: “Tyrone GAA wish to place on record our most sincere thanks to Michael, Stephen McGarry, Noel Brick, Tom Hennessy and the entire coaching and backroom team for all their hard work and dedication over the past three years.”

Read more: Monaghan knock holders Tyrone out after penalty shoot-out drama

Tyrone lost Saturday's Ulster MFC semi-final against Monaghan on penalties
Tyrone lost Saturday's Ulster MFC semi-final against Monaghan on penalties Tyrone lost Saturday's Ulster MFC semi-final against Monaghan on penalties

Meanwhile, Donnelly revealed in the aftermath of Saturday’s dramatic loss to Monaghan at Roslea that he would not be seeking reappointment to the minor football post.

“I have loved the three years, but now it’s time to give somebody else a go from next year on,” he said.

“It has been an absolute pleasure, and I want to thank the county board for giving me such an important role, and I hope we have developed lads, I hope that the boys that have been under our tutelage have learned and improved.”

Donnelly reflected on the agony of defeat in a spot-kick shoot-out, expressing regret that Tyrone failed to push on while holding a five-point lead at crucial stages of a memorable MFC semi-final.

“People will say we lost the game on penalties, but when you’re five up with a couple of minutes to go, you should be holding on,” he said.

“It’s not the penalties that beat us. It’s the position that we were in, to then let it get to penalties, that annoys me, and will annoy me more than the actual penalty shoot-out itself.

“Those five lads put their hands up and wanted to take penalties, I commend every single one of them.”