Tyrone set to triumph in first meeting at senior level against Limerick

Preview: All-Ireland SF qualifier Round 1B –Tyrone v Limerick, Healy Park, 4.0

Even in the era of the qualifiers it's increasingly rare for the championship to throw up new pairings but this meeting of Tyrone and Limerick at Omagh is the first time the counties have met at senior level.

They did play in the 2000 All-Ireland under-21 final when Tyrone, captained by the late Cormac McAnallen, won and no veterans of that occasion are still playing although Limerick’s John Galvin and Stephen O’Neill from Tyrone just missed a reunion by 12 months, having both recently retired.

It’s a pity for Limerick that ended up being drawn away, as the fixture would be daunting enough without having to head North. Limerick came close to surprising Clare in the Munster quarter-final after a poor first half left them too much to do and have survived a clutch of injury scares to field more or less the same team.

Limerick quality

There are fine players on John Brudair's side: the experienced Johnny McCarthy at corner back and Seánie Buckley and Ian Ryan will test the Tyrone defence but Mickey Harte's team have been rising in championship estimation during the seven weeks of enforced lay-off, waiting for the first qualifier. Their defeat by Donegal looks more and more creditable, after the champions powered past through Armagh.


In fact although Donegal deserved the win, Tyrone came close to getting the equalising goal. Their attacking potential should also benefit from the introduction of Ronan O’Neill at centre forward, assuming the team starts as selected. Tyrone showed plenty of ability to create chances against Donegal’s massed rearguard and their game was at its most effective when running at the backs. It will be too much of step-up for the visitors.

Last meeting: The counties have never met in senior championship. Odds: Tyrone 1 to 33, Limerick 10 to 1 and 28 to 1 the draw.
Injuries: None.
Suspension: None.
Just the ticket: €15/£12 adults and €10/£9 students and senior citizens. Juveniles free. Verdict: Tyrone to win.
TYRONE: M O'Neill; A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron; R McNabb, J McMahon, P Harte; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; Tiernan McCann, R O'Neill, R Brennan; D McCurry, S Cavanagh (capt), C McAliskey.
LIMERICK: B Scanlon; J McCarthy, S O'Dea, R Browne; I Corbett, C Fahy, S Cahill; T Lee, Gearóid Hegarty; D Tracey, Pa Ranahan, S Buckley; D Neville, P Nash, I Ryan.
Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon).

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times