THE countdown to the start of The Tyrone All-County Leagues is on, after the release of the fixtures last week, writes Jason Quinn.
April fools day is the big date in the team’s minds and with most clubs pre-season training nearing completion, thoughts will now be turning to their opening league fixture and with renewed resolutions, there will be some having hopes of raising some silverware, come the business end of the season.
In Division One, Loughsore teams, Moortown and Ardboe both have tricky away games in their openers, travelling to play Carrickmore and Trillick respectively with Moortown having the added pressure of looking after Carmen’s new signing Martin Penrose. Fay Devlin will want to start his reign of with a victory as he takes over reigns at his beloved Ardboe. Kildress Wolfe Tones promoted back to the top flight after a years absence welcome Donaghmore to Gortacladdy in their opener and new boss, Johnny McGurk will be hoping for a successful start to his reign at the club.
In Division Two the stand out tie will be the local Mid-Ulster derby when John McGuckins Pomeroy Plunkett’s travel to Cookstown to take on the 2010 Intermediate league winners, who after a few season in the top flight, returned to division two after relegation last year.
Their new manager John McKeever will be hoping to get off to a good start, understanding the difficult away ties that lie in store for his side. Meanwhile the Rock who made great strides in this Division last year and unlucky not to be promoted, start off with a tricky home tie, against another team relegated from the top flight last year, a Sean Cavanagh inspired Moy and both teams will be eager to get their season of to a flying start, knowing the importance of picking up vital points early.
Stewartstown Harps will entertain Aghayaran and after the move of Martin Penrose away from the North Tyrone club, the Harps will be confident of picking up an early two points and injecting some confidence into the side for the difficult year ahead. See next week’s paper for an outlook on all Mid Ulster based teams 2012 league campaigns, with thoughts from players and managers.