There can be no denying it. Their display in dumping league champions Donegal out of the Ulster Championship on Sunday was awesome. The scoreline read 2-15 to 1-7 but even such ominous figures don’t do justice to this performance. Right from the off, they had their highly-rated opponents twitching in an uneasy fashion and quickly ticked all the right boxes. From early on Owen Mulligan and Stephen O’Neill looked to have returned to their brilliant best. In order for Tyrone to be successful many said Mulligan needed to have a summer like O’Neill did in 2005 and O’Neill had to catch a wave like Mulligan that same year. There’s a long way to go, but there were hints here that both are about to happen. And then there was Brian Dooher, who received a standing ovation as he left the field.
“He just gives it so much and I’ll guarantee he’s had as serious an injury as any player has had over the last 12 months,” said Harte of his captain afterwards. “He works endlessly and it’s so good that a man who puts in so
much effort can perform like that. Talk about leadership, energy, every superlative you could think of, Brian Dooher had it today and I can’t think of a better game he’s played. As for the team overall, well we haven’t been in the Ulster final for a few years now and our form since 2005 has been much in question. That performance was obviously brewing somewhere under the surface, you don’t know when and where it’s going to come out, but I still had belief in the quality of players we have around us.”
As the rest of the country looked on in awe, they will have been hoping there aren’t too many more performances of this variety brewing, but to think that would be na