Tyrone v Donegal: Lory Meagher final preview

Tyrone and Donegal meet in the first of a Hurling final triple header as they challenge for the Lory Meagher Cup final at Croke Park at noon on Saturday.

Tyrone will enter the final as the slight favourites are advancing to their second Lory Meagher Cup Final in three years after a successful trip to Pairc Na hEireann in Birmingham where they beat Warwickshire by 2-15 to 2-10.

Rory O’Neill scored two goals that day while Conor Grugan netted four points as Tyrone turned a one point half time lead into a five point win.

Donegal meanwhile were awarded their place in this final when they beat South Down by three points, after extra time, in their semi-final meeting in Newry.

The Tir Chonaill men are likely to again rely heavily on marksman Niall Campbell for scores, with the Donegal talisman scoring 11 points in the 1-15 to 1-12 semi final win. Enda McDermott scored a goal for Donegal that day and both men will form a dangerous forward line for Andrew Wallace’s side.

Donegal haven’t had a great track record in finals and lost the 2009 Lory Meagher final to same opponents.

Speaking ahead of the final Wallace told the Donegal Democrat, “We haven’t a great record in finals and not just in Croke Park,

“We have lost our last three finals there alright but even before that and even before we got to Croke Park our record was not great. We lost the All-Ireland junior finals of 2001 and 2003 to Roscommon and Mayo respectively and neither of them we in Croke Park.

“We just don’t have a good record in finals but we are hoping to put it right on Saturday.”

Donegal’s reliance on Campbell could place in the hands of a Tyrone side that often spread their scoring chances among their classy forwards such as O’Neill, Grugan and Justin Kelly

Wallace has made just the one change in personnel to his side, since that victory. Sean McVeigh comes in at centre-field with Paddy Hannigan dropping to the bench.

Donegal line up: P O’Brien; S O’Connor, C Breathnach (captain), A McDermott; J Donnelly, C Dowds, J Boyle; S McVeigh, P Sheridan; E Organ, S Boyle, C Mathewson; M McCann, E McDermott, Niall Campbell.

Subs: P Burns, L Henderson, P Hannigan, R McDermott, P Horan, D White, C Goulding, M Lillis, M McGhee.

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