The Schemozzle: Positive signs for Tyrone again as under-20s claim All-Ireland crown

Red Hand show underage strength again as they prove too strong for old rivals Kerry at Portlaoise

Green shoots for Tyrone

Be afraid – Tyrone are on the way back.

Their under-20s won the All-Ireland yesterday and history tells us that if there’s one county who is able to translate underage success to senior, it’s them.

The county won its first minor All-Ireland in 1947 and retained it in ‘48. Those groundbreaking sides produced numerous players for the Tyrone panel who won the county’s first Ulster senior title in 1956, including the likes of the ‘47 minor captain Eddie Devlin.

They reached the All-Ireland minor final again in 1972; captain that day was Frank McGuigan, who would captain their senior team to the Ulster title a year later.


Further minor titles followed in 1998, 2001, 2004 and 2008 and, most impressively, each of those teams produced players who went on to win Celtic crosses at senior.

The same is true for their U21 All-Ireland wins in 1991, ‘92 (both captained by Peter Canavan), 2000, 2001 and 2015. Would you bet against another Sam Maguire in the years to come?

Fine margins prove harsh for Cavan again

The Lory Meagher Cup final will be contested by Longford and Fermanagh after the pair drew at Pearse Park on Saturday.

Spare a thought, though, for Cavan. They needed either Longford to win or to themselves turn around a 28-point score difference gap with Fermanagh – and they came very close to both.

The draw meant Cavan crashed out, despite putting seven goals past Leitrim. Last year, Cavan comfortably beat both finalists (Monaghan and Lancashire) in the group but missed out on qualifying after a one-point final-day loss to Leitrim.

This year, they drew with Fermanagh and lost by three to Longford so exited on the head-to-head rule. Cavan were on track to overhaul the score difference, too, only for the Erne men to come back from 11 down to draw. Fine margins.

Rodgers’ strong hand in Clare victory

“Unbelievable vision but an unbelievable handpass as well,” was how pundit Joe Canning described Clare attacker Mark Rodgers’ contribution to Darragh Lohan’s 19th minute goal against Waterford – and Canning was right.

Rodgers pounced on a loose ball at midfield and delivered a stunning 25-metre handpass off his left hand which was perfectly placed and played Lohan in for the goal.

Of course, it should come as no surprise – Rodgers is an accomplished handballer, as are a number of the top hurlers at present (including team-mate Peter Duggan). Rodgers, a member of the famous Tuamgraney Handball Club, reached the All-Ireland Minor Handball Singles final five years ago and won the All-Ireland Minor Doubles in tandem with Tiernan Agnew, another former Banner minor hurler.

Limerick end a bad run

If you’re on a bad run, it seems the team to face is Offaly. They lost the first round of the Tailteann Cup by 14 points at home to a London side who hadn’t won a championship match since 2013.

On Saturday, the Faithful were beaten by eight points by Limerick, who had lost nine from nine this season.

The last time Limerick won a match was exactly a year ago today (Monday, May 20th) when they beat Carlow.

In words

We have a free 30m from goal. Take another point, or try to work it in? – @OfficialWexGAA thinking out loud during their footballers’ clash with Antrim.

In numbers – 1

Previous occasion when the four provincial football winners were Galway, Dublin, Kerry and Donegal (2018).