Seanie: We’ll learn lessons from heavy Dubs defeat

By Niall Gartland

TYRONE’S National League campaign certainly ended on a sour note, but Seanie O’Donnell is confident that they’ll learn the lessons of a particularly chastening defeat to the Dubs.

Their 21-point defeat has raised questions about where exactly the team stands heading into the championship, even with the caveat that they had already secured their Division One safety in the penultimate round with a thrilling victory over Monaghan.

The manner of their concession of five goals was particularly alarming, but in theory it’s something they should be able to rectify when the serious stuff starts, especially as a number of experienced heads at the back are likely to drop back in when they face Monaghan or Cavan in their Ulster Championship opener on April 14.

Seanie O’Donnell, who is in his second year on the senior intercounty panel having been drafted in midway through last season, commented: “We can’t afford to be having games like last Sunday’s no matter what the time of year is. Hopefully we won’t see the likes of that again, but we’ll try to take the positives from it – at least we’ll take plenty of learning from it, we have plenty to work on and that’s not a bad position to be in either.”

O’Donnell won an All-Ireland U-20 Championship title with Tyrone in 2022 and played a full role in Trillick’s surge to Tyrone Senior Championship honours last year, so he’s already packed a lot of experience into his burgeoning career. He was brought on for the final 20 minutes on Sunday but won’t forget his first outing in Croke Park against the Dubs in a hurry, but nor was their heavy defeat the end of the world.

“Look, they’re All-Ireland champions for a reason, but at the same time we didn’t turn up.

“They’re obviously well-drilled and in great condition but we have to hold our hands up and acknowledge we didn’t perform anywhere near like we should.

“We’ll regroup and move forward together. While we’ll not dwell too much on it, we’ll definitely take a good look at where it went wrong and try to get things right in the championship.”

He continued: “There’s still a lot of positives to take out of the league campaign even if it’s a pity about the Dublin game. There’s new lads coming and stepping up to the plate and that’s given a chance for injured lads to take time out to recover, and they’re starting to come back in as well.”

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