Enda McGinley believes Tyrone were never able to recover from a slow start to the year despite a late flourish in the league campaign.
Tyrone’s defence of their All-Ireland crown came to a very early end as they were knocked out by Armagh in the first round of the qualifiers, having previously been beaten by Derry in the Ulster quarter-finals.
It was a tame effort from Tyrone against their fierce rivals at the Athletic Grounds, but not a particularly surprising one given their patchy form all year.
Tyrone great Enda McGinley was speaking on RTE’s The Sunday Game and stressed that the poor form of some of the county’s best players condemned last year’s All-Ireland champions to an early exit.
Enda McGinley on Tyrone’s struggle.
“They’ve just struggled for momentum all year. They came back fairly late from their holidays and they struggled in the early rounds of the league,” McGinley started.
“Then there’s been wee bright sparks where you think, ‘Right, it’s going to click again.’ The win down in Kerry in the last round of the league to secure their Division One status was massive.
“But then into the championship, all through the league there’s been players struggling to gain form. There’s players that had massive, massive years last year and they’ve just simply not only failed to hit form, they’re actually in poor form at the minute.
“So there was always a worry within Tyrone when we seen the level of the Derry performance, there’s always a worry for any player that loses form, you can’t suddenly switch it back on again.
“Tyrone needed those boys to find their form again but unfortunately [against Armagh] a lot of them again made simple mistakes, sloppiness – it just wasn’t there last year when they were at the peak of their powers.”
“They are players who had massive years in 2021 and not only have they failed to hit form, they’re actually in poor form at the minute.”
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 5, 2022
A long break lies ahead.
Tyrone will have to wait a very long time before they can right any of the wrongs in this year’s campaign, with their season ending a full three months earlier than in 2021.
The absence of seven players from last year’s All-Ireland winning panel certainly didn’t help Tyrone’s chances, although the performances of those who did stay on is major point of concern.
The one positive to take from this year for Tyrone is their survival in Division One of the Allianz Leagues, although their championship campaign is certainly one to forget.