Antrim v Tyrone, Saturday, 6 pm, Athletic Grounds, Armagh
Antrim and Tyrone will meet for the first time since 2010 in this Ulster Championship quarter-final game which will be played at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh. The game throws in at 6 pm.
Antrim operated out of Division 4 in the Allianz Football League. They finished the league with 3 wins and 4 losses and finished third in the table. This will be a difficult game for Antrim going on that form and the form in Ulster over the past number of seasons. Lenny Harbinson the Saffron’s boss will look for a big performance from his side. However, history doesn’t favour them as they haven’t won against the Red Hands in 55 years.
Tyrone come into the game on the back of a good league campaign under Mickey Harte who is a very astute manager he has adopted his tactics this season which has seen Tyrone opt to go forward more, as well as keeping more forwards in attack instead of bringing them all back to crowd the defence. They finished the league with 4 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses and finished third in the table just missing out on a league final spot. History favours the Red Hands here and nothing but a win is what many would expect.
Looking at what players I expect to line out. Lenny Harbinson is likely to give youth it’s chance which would see players like Kevin Quinn and Patrick McCormick make championship debuts. Niall Delargy and Ryan Murray will also be key players if the Saffrons are to pull off an upset. Looking at Tyrone, in defence Ronan McNamee, Tiernan McCann and Padraig Hampsey will be expected to drive on the Red Hands from the defence. Colm Cavanagh is also in line to start. In attack, Peter Harte and Cathal McShane will be tasked with coming up with the scores.
Antrim’s last win in the Ulster Championship came against Fermanagh in 2014. Tyrone haven’t lost to Antrim since 1964 when they lost by four points.
The winners play Donegal or Fermanagh in the Ulster semi-final on June 8th
Last 5 Championship Meetings
2010 Tyrone 2-14 Antrim 1-13 (Ulster quarter-final)
2009 Tyrone 1-18 Antrim 0-15 (Ulster quarter-final)
1993 Tyrone 1-17 Antrim 1-09 (Ulster semi-final)
1988 Tyrone 3-13 Antrim 2-04 (Ulster quarter-final)
1987 Tyrone 2-06 Antrim 2-05 (Ulster quarter-final replay)
Antrim (SF v Tyrone): P Nugent; P McCormick, R Johnston, P Gallagher; P McBride, D Lynch, N Delargy; C Duffin, S Beatty; J McAuley, M Fitzpatrick, K Quinn; R Murray, J Smith, O Eastwood.
Tyrone (SF v Antrim): Niall Morgan; Hugh Pat McGeary, Ronan McNamee, Michael McKernan; Tiernan McCann, Padraig Hampsey, Michael Cassidy; Colm Cavanagh, Ben McDonnell; Matthew Donnelly, Niall Sludden, Frank Burns; Cathal McShane, Peter Harte, Richard Donnelly.
Tyrone are 1/80 to advance to win this game, while Antrim are massive 20/1 outsiders. The draw is 40/1. Tyrone to win for me with the handicap market Tyrone -12 been the selection at 10/11.