Gortin’s Brolly relishing tilt at All-Ireland glory

By Alan Rodgers

A BRILLIANT record of Ulster success is providing the positive platform for the Tyrone U-20s to build upon as they aim to reach the All-Ireland Final for the first time in two years against Roscommon this weekend.

Victory over Derry in the provincial decider last week has catapulted the young Red Hands onto the national stage again. It’s the Rossies who will provide the opposition for them, and all the indications are that the new Ulster champions are well placed to maintain the momentum of a marvellous season so far.

Four Ulster titles in six years in an impressive record. But there’s plenty of incentive to make a greater mark at All-Ireland level. This particular group of players lost the All-Ireland Minor final in 2021, and the prospect of making up for that disappointment and emulating the successful U-20 squad of 2022 is a big one for Paul Devlin and the players.

Tyrone, then, will travel to Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan with high hopes of reaching the decider later this month. Among those who has been impressive for them so far is Gortin’s Odhran Brolly, and he is keen to build on last week’s Ulster title.

“Paul (Devlin) has always stressed on us the need to never give up. We showed great character to come back and win the title against Derry after being four points down in extra time and hopefully we can build on that in the All-Ireland semi-final,” he said.

“There’s great belief in this squad. Things were tough at times against Derry, but we kept working and chipping away.Thankfully, the practice that we’ve been doing in training has paid off and we’re looking forward to the next step now.”

Roscommon won the Connacht title last week by defeating Galway in the final. The ability of the Rossies to score goals was seen as crucial in that tie, and they’ll be looking for more of the same come Saturday evening.

The Tyrone management will have watched that tie with interest, and the preparations for this semi-final clash have no doubt included a close look at how to thwart the Rossies attacking threat.

“We’re focusing on the All-Ireland semi-final now and looking forward to trying to make our mark again,” added Brolly.

For Tyrone, the chance to further enhance their proud record at U-21 and now the U-20 grade is the big priority as this talented group of players aim to take one more step to more glory.

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