Tyrone will play hosts to All-Ireland championships outsiders Carlow, if they fail to see off the challenge of Cavan at the second attempt on Saturday week.
The draw for the second phase of the qualifiers has pitched the men known as the Scallion Eaters into battle against the losers of the Ulster semi-final replay.
However, although it’s not a draw which would instil fear into either Mickey Harte or Terry Hyland, it goes without saying that neither manager will want to face that particular test - even on home soil.
The Ulster Council were the big winners at St.Tiernach’s Park on Sunday as almost twenty thousand people witnessed when Tyrone and Cavan playing out a thrilling draw.
The competition badly needed an injection of drama and excitement and the Red Hands players and Breffni men really ignited a tournament which had hitherto been as dull as dishwater across all four provinces, even allowing for the shock of the season on Saturday night as the cheeky upstarts from Galway ended Mayo’s Connacht stranglehold in remarkable fashion.
All the pundits suggested that Cavan would test the legitimacy of Tyrone’s Anglo-Celt and Sam Maguire cups credentials but few, if any, of them doubted that Tyrone would just prove too strong.
As it turned out, the Red Hands defence which had gone seven championship matches without conceding a goal suddenly gifted three to the hungry Cavan forwards - and the last of them was enough to signal a replay on Saturday week.
“It was a wonderful game from start to finish for those who could enjoy it as a spectacle” reflected Mickey Harte right, giving Cavan credit for wanting to reach the final as much as the Tyrone men did.
“Having gone eight or nine championship matches without losing a goal, it was disappointing to concede three and maybe we’re fortunate the last one didn’t cost us the match” added the Tyrone boss.
“Scoretaking let us down, missing too many chances. But we’re delighted to get another crack at them” countered Cavan’s Terry Hyland.