Hurling and camogie

Tyrone's senior hurlers left ‘out in the cold' says manager Mattie Lennon

Tyrone hurling manager Mattie Lennon on the line against Donegal during the NHL 2B promotion/relegation play-off on Saturday at Owenbeg, Dungiven. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin.
Francis Mooney

Tyrone’s senior hurlers were left ‘out in the cold’ after being forced to train on an artificial surface in preparation for last weekend’s crucial Allianz League clash with Roscommon.

Manager Mattie Lennon said he was disappointed at being denied access to a grass pitch at the county’s training centre at Garvaghey.

He was preparing his side for a crunch tie which would decide whether they would get themselves into contention for a place in the Division 3A final.

“I feel we could have got more help to get pitches to train on, because I think we have been left a wee bit out in the cold, that we haven’t got pitches when we should have got them,” he said.

“I do feel disappointed about that.

“The preparations haven’t been good, because it has been hard to get a pitch.”

Despite the difficulties associated with the preparations, the Red Hands rose to the challenge with a high quality display as they inflicted a first defeat of the season on the league leaders.

Now they can make it to the final, but they must defeat team Longford in a rescheduled tie, and hope that other results go their way.

The fixtures headache created by the snows of Storm Emma has pushed that tie back but Lennon knows that ''another performance'' against Longford is essential.

“We have to back it up with another performance in Longford,'' he stressed.

“After beating Monaghan and Roscommon, which are two top teams in this division, we have to look for two points, and it’s important we get ourselves ready for the Longford match.

“It will be tough enough match down there. Longford haven’t got any points yet, but that doesn’t mean they’ll not be looking for a win, so we have to be ready for it.”

Should new leaders Warwickshire defeat Roscommon and Monaghan score a win over Louth when the rescheduled fixtures take place, then Tyrone will contest the final, so long as they get full points from their final group game at Pearse Park in Longford.

“There’s still a possibility, depending on how the last round of games go, we could still end up in a league final. It’s out of our own hands, but that said, we have to win in Longford,” Lennon added.

Having lost their opening two games against Warwickshire and Louth, Tyrone were in a dire position, but their manager was nevertheless satisfied with performance levels in games that they could and should have won.

“Our performances in the first two games were very good, I was happy with the performances. What let us down was the goals, we leaked a few goals, and we haven’t done that in the last two games.

“That was really the difference, because our scoring was good. Overall, we’re playing some good hurling, but just maybe letting the opposition get the goals, or we’re switching off for small periods of time, which we didn’t do against Roscommon.

“But overall, I’m pretty happy with how we have been training, how we have been playing. Yes, we would love to have got another four points from the first two games, but that’s’ the way it is and we have to deal with it

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Hurling and camogie