Tyrone minors turned on the style at Bord na Mona O’Connor Park in Offaly on Saturday afternoon to comfortably see off the challenge of Cork and book their place in the All Ireland final against Meath at Headquarters next Saturday.
It has been an impressive campaign to date and that trend continued here in a contest that they were always in control of. At one stage though in the first half they only led by three points despite dominating the exchanges but they finished the first half strongly to establish a 0-10 to 0-3 interval advantage and they never looked back. Cork keeper Daniel Walsh produced a man of the match display to prevent the Rebels from suffering an even heavier defeat with five top saves including one from a first half Shea O’Hare penalty.
The winners finished with 0-23 to their name with a lot of their scores very well worked with the player in the better position always getting the pass. The bench again made a significant impact as Conor Owens and Jack Martin weighed in with 0-7 between them while the midfield worked hard and the defence gave their opponents little or no breathing space throughout, the Munster champions getting a consolation goal at the end of the game.
Eoin McElholm opened the scoring in the 3rd minute with a well taken point before half back Hugh Cunningham doubled their advantage from a successful free on the right wing. Hugh O’Connor then opened Cork’s account in the 9th minute from a free, the corner forward the only first half scorer for the Munster champions. Ronan Cassidy knocked over a Tyrone free and the same player then added a good score from play before Gavin Potter was denied by a superb save from Walsh.
Cormac Devlin and O’Connor swapped points before Walsh came to Cork’s rescue again this time saving from Cassidy. McElholm then pushed Tyrone four clear before Potter was fouled for that penalty in the 20th minute. O’Connor won a free which he converted himself but that proved to be Cork’s last score of the opening period. Tyrone midfielder Ruairi McHugh curled over a beauty before Cunningham converted another free. Tyrone were well on top at this stage and they had the final say of the half through Ronan Strain to leave them well in control.
O’Connor opened the second half scoring for the Munster champions but any thoughts of a comeback were soon quashed. Halftime substitute Conor Owens pointed from a free as well as from play as Tyrone continued to dominate. The superb McElholm added a couple of points with keeper Walsh saving twice from Cassidy. Owens, Ronan Strain, McElholm and substitute Jack Martin all tagged on points as a rampant Tyrone side kept the scoreboard ticking over.
Cork substitute Dylan Crowley bundled in a consolation goal but Tyrone responded through Cassidy and Martin on a day when they had eight different scorers.
Tyrone: N Robinson, M Rafferty, R Fox, C Kelly, H Cunningham (0-2, 2F), S O’Hare, M Mallon, R Donnelly, R McHugh (0-1), R Strain (0-2), C Devlin (0-1), G Potter, R Cassidy (0-5, 3F), P McCann, E McElholm (0-5). Subs: C Owens (0-4, 3F) for McCann, N Grimes for Potter, B Hampsey for Fox, J Martin (0-3) for Strain, B Hughes for O’Hare
Cork: D Walsh, D Twomey, S O’Connell, P O’Grady, S Copps, C Twomey, D O’Brien, M McSweeney, R O’Shaughnessy, J O’Neill, N Kelly, C Gillespie, L O’Herlihy, J O’Driscoll, H O’Connor (0-4, 3F). Subs: F Crowley for McSweeney, J Cunningham for Kelly, O Corcoran for O’Herlihy, D Crowley (1-1) for Gillespie, A Kelleher (0-1) for O’Brien