By Niall Gartland
THE easy narrative is that Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher masterminded Tyrone’s memorable victory over Donegal in the Ulster semi-final, but Logan himself is at pains to point out that it was a collective effort from everyone.
The Tyrone joint-managers have enlisted a high-powered backroom team, and their high fitness levels were obvious as they surged across the finish line in sweltering conditions at Brewster Park, striking the last four points of the game, all in injury time.
They’ve certainly turned things round after conceding six goals to Kerry in Killarney, and they’re now one step away from a first Ulster title since 2017.
Logan said: “We’re delighted to get into an Ulster final after what was a fairly stop-start league campaign. After that we had four weeks of hard work on the training field. ‘Holmsey’ (Colin Holmes), Joe (McMahon), Peter Donnelly and Des McGuinness were brilliant in setting things up for the Donegal match, and you saw the fruits of that – it goes well beyond myself and Brian.”
The former Tyrone player felt in his bones that they were massively determined to take the spoils against a Donegal team which have dominated the rivalry in the last three years. That determination is evident as they held firm in a hugely engaging contest.
“I just knew coming down here to Brewster Park that we had a strong desire not to be beaten. Sometimes when you have that motivation in your locker, it brings out the best in you.
“I hate to be tribal about it, but Donegal have caused Tyrone a lot of pain over the last 10 years, let’s put it that way, and I suppose sometimes you have to release that pain.”
Now they face Monaghan in the final on July 31 at Croke Park, a county which is still coming to terms with the tragic loss of their u-20 captain Brendan Og Dufaigh, who was killed in a car crash last Friday.
Logan: “Everything’s in perspective. Paddy Harte, a great Tyrone gael, was buried yesterday (Saturday) as well.
“It’s horrible for everyone in Monaghan, and emotions are running high, so their win over Armagh was really commendable. We sent our deepest sympathies to the Monaghan people and the family of Brendan Og.”
He was also delighted with the contribution of his bench against Donegal, with Tiarnan McCann (who scored three points) and the mercurial Conor McKenna making a hugely positive impact in the second half.
“We have a great panel of players, and it’s really difficult for the lads who could’ve shown their worth today but didn’t get in. That’s not easy but we do have great players throughout the panel, and we’re glad the lads who got their chance did themselves proud when they came into the game.”