Tyrone u16 and u17 teams travelled to Maghera on Saturday to take on Monaghan in the Ulster Minor League final and the Buncrana Cup Shield Final. On a day when the strong wind made life difficult during both matches Tyrone emerged victorious after two challenging games of football.
The under 17s were first up and although Tyrone opened the scoring from a Shay Daly free, the next twenty minutes saw Monaghan at their attacking best.
Wind assisted in the first half the Farney boys carried the game to Tyrone. Points from Irwin and Mc Donald edged Monaghan in front before a goal from the fleet footed Mc Donald put them 1-3 to 0-1 ahead after fifteen minutes.
With ten minutes of the first half remaining Monaghan added three further scores to open up an eight point lead and things looked bleak for Tyrone.
Red Hand keeper Coney made a superb stop late in the half to deny Monaghan a certain goal before Daniel Fullerton (2) and James Donaghy added points to send Tyrone in at the break trailing 1-6 to 0-4.
Tyrone began the second half on the front foot with Mc Gleenan and Gallagher establishing control in the middle of the field. Early points from Mc Hugh and Daly reduced the deficit before a fine goal from Fullerton tied the game. A monster point from midfielder Mc Gleenan edged Tyrone in front and it seemed the Red Hands would push on for the win.
Monaghan However showed great resolve and endeavour but it was Tyrone’s profligacy that kept the Farney men in the game as three great chances of goals were passed up.
With only a point in it and time almost up Monaghan, driven on by team captain Owen Duffy, went for broke and won a free that was converted by Mc Donald. That score tied the game and meant two periods of extra time would be required to determine the winner.
Once again Tyrone faced into the wind but such was their work rate that they out scored Monaghan five points to two during that ten minute period. Subs Brian Conway and Mark Devlin led the way as Tyrone reached the break three ahead. Indeed it could have been much worse for Monaghan had Daniel Fullerton’s penalty been converted just before the short whistle.
The second half of extra time saw Mark Devlin, Shea Browne and Fullerton all add to their team’s tally as Tyrone produced a superb last ten minutes to seal the win and lift the title on a final score of 1-17 to 1-10.
The under 16s made it a double for Tyrone when they defeated Monaghan in the Buncrana Cup Shield decider.
A hard working first half playing against the wind saw them hold Monaghan to five points while the young Red Hands hit 1-2 courtesy of a Shea Quinn goal and points from Blayne Ryan and Conor Cush.
The second half showed this team at their best as the defence held Monaghan scoreless and the forwards added two goals and nine points to secure the win. Shea Lawn and Dan Muldoon bagged the goals while Quinn and Mc Gillion got among the points.
Others to star on the day were Oran Mc Grath, Eoin Barkley, Adam Toner, Conal Mc Conomy, Tom Grimes and Eoghan Devlin.