Tyrone certainly weren’t at their best in the first half against Fermanagh in the McKenna Cup semi final but the second half was a completely different story as they played with more fluency and urgency and in the end their opponents simply couldn’t handle them. Red Hands manager wasn’t happy with the opening thirty five minutes but was pleased with the way his players reacted after the break.
“You could imagine we weren’t particularly happy with the first half. I am sure nobody in the crowd was happy with the first half. It was dire enough to look at.
We cancelled each other out in an ultra defensive fashion. There wasn’t anyone making serious breaks and it suited Fermanagh, they contained us.
At half time we felt there was a real challenge facing us. If we continued to play the way we were doing we would not be in a good position at the end of the game. We felt we had 35 minutes to get ourselves into this final; we had to pull up our socks.
The difference was the cutting edge in the second half. The support football and play was better. In the first half the last man was missing. When we broke them down and got that first goal it gave us the cushion to push on. There was an urgency about our play in the second half that was missing in the first half.
The introduction of Martin Penrose was a significant factor. He is great to get about the place and get in tackles. There is a speed about him that threatens opposition. I think they were not able to handle that when he came to the fore.”