Red odds buster?

Karl Lacey and Mark Donnelly collide into each other during Saturday's Ulster semi-final clash. INTT2712-719DCA
Karl Lacey and Mark Donnelly collide into each other during Saturday's Ulster semi-final clash. INTT2712-719DCA

Despite having a dose of the jitters as Tyrone pushed Dublin all the way in the National League Final, bookmaker Gregory Hughes is not afraid to lay decent odds against the Red Hands enjoying glory this summer, writes Kevin Hughes.

The local bookie, who was shouting the prices at the big meeting in York last week, confesses he thought he had made a bit of a blunder earlier in the year when offering a whopping 500-1 against Mickey Harte’s team completing the dream treble of the league, Ulster champion and All-Ireland titles.

“We had them at 14-1 to win the All-Ireland at the start of the year and we laid 500-1 for the clean sweep and didn’t think much about it, to be honest. But we took quite a few small bets and, when they were added together they came to around £100. And that meant we had a liability of £50,000 - which is a lot to risk to win just a ton!” explained Hughes, who had offices in Dungannon and Coalisland.

“Tyrone played extremely well in the league, as we now know, and that perhaps surprised quite a few people. I don’t mind saying we were quite relieved to see them coming up just a wee bit short” he quipped.

However, showing a bit of bravado, Hughes is still not afraid to throw out a value bet or two, great news for the small punter who likes to wager a few quid on enticing bets with a significant yield factor at the end of it.

“Having seen the treble prospect put to bed, we are still prepared to lay our customers an attractive 33-1 against Tyrone winning both the Ulster Championship and the All-Ireland titles, while they are 11-1 with us for the Sam Maguire and 3-1 to take home the Ulster-Celt trophy.

“And, if the O’Neill county supporters really want a nice little interest in their county’s fortunes this summer, perhaps they might fancy a flutter at 100-1 for the Red Hands to bring home both the All-Ireland cups, minor and senior!

“As we speak, we have taken probably between five and six hundred pounds on the Sam Maguire coming back to Tyrone. but it’s traditionally in the week running up to the first match that the serious money comes across the counter and we expect a lot of bets to be struck in the coming days.

“So the advice for punters wanting that value is to get their money on now, before the prices shorten” stressed Hughes enthusiastically.