Tyrone's animal of an U20 midfielder runs out over the Kerry boys in Portlaoise bull-run 6 months ago

Tyrone's animal of an U20 midfielder runs out over the Kerry boys in Portlaoise bull-run

Tyrone 1-14 Kerry 1-12

Mattie McGleenan told a story back in 2013 about his son Michael.

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Mattie was the Scotstown manager at the time and, ahead of the county final against Clontibret, the million dollar question was how are we going to stop Conor McManus. Manzy scored 1-8 against them earlier in the year and it was on the drive back to Eglish in Tyrone when Michael talked sense into his father.

He said 'You know daddy, I think Kieran Hughes could mark that man.' McGleenan took his son's advice on board and, with McManus feeding off scraps, Scotstown absolutely hammered Clontibret in the final.

Michael was only 11 back then. He's 20 now and, as a Tyrone midfielder, he's become an absolute bull of a man. He was one of his county's key players in their march to the Ulster under-20 title earlier this year and, against the might of Kerry in today's All-Ireland semi-final, he was the man who brought the fight.

A fancied Kerry side got off to the better side in Portlaoise as they raced into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead in the early exchanges but Ciaran Bogue and Ruairi Canavan struck back for Tyrone. It was only a couple of minutes later when McGleenan made his mark.

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Picking up the ball on his own 45, the Eglish man played a one-two with his full back Brian Conway and that was when the show started. Well over 6 ft in stature, McGleenan tore down the field like a bull amongst a field of calves. One, two, three Kerry man tried to stop him but with a bit of speed, plenty of strength and a fair bit of skill, none of them got near it.

McGleenan kicked over the point and Tyrone were motoring.

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Tyrone went into the break a point down and it looked ominous for them when, three into the second half, Dingle's Dylan Geaney got on the end of a well-worked move and finished sublimely to the net. That put Kerry three points up and in the driving seat but from there to the finish, with Ruairi Canavan showing his class, it was all Tyrone.

In typical Tyrone fashion, they clawed their way back into the game and it was with five minutes left when they scored the game's crucial score. McGleenan, as he'd been doing all day, won a 50:50 in midfield and with the brilliant Canavan hitting the post, Tyrone reacted quickest before Ciaran Bogue rounded the keeper and finished like a gem.

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That put them three up and while Kerry did rally, Tyrone had enough done to hold on for a 1-14 to 1-12 win. That's enough to book a place in the final where they'll take on Kildare. The Lillies will certainly have their work cut out against men like Canavan and Bogue, and giants like McGleenan.