Tyrone are through to the Ulster Minor League Final after a hard fought win over a well organised and very committed Cavan side this afternoon. The Red Hands won 3-09 to 1-12 but were made to fight all the way by the Breffni men. The sides were level with twenty nine minutes of the second half played and Tyrone only succeeded in pulling away following three late points.
Mickey Donnelly’s team looked as if they were going to run away with the game following a whirlwind start which saw them hit goals from Michael Cassidy and Sean Hackett to lead 2-1 to 0-1 after ten minutes. Tyrone could have and should have been further ahead but for a couple of great saves from Cavan goalkeeper Magee and profligacy in the Tyrone forward line. Cavan recovered from their shaky start and by half time were ahead 1-7 to 2-3 as Andrew Graham and Conor Madden capitalised on lapses in the Tyrone defence.
The home side began the second half well to lead 2-05 to 1-7 following two pointed frees from Sean Hackett but full forward Madden made sure that Cavan continued to be a threat and hit three fine points to put them ahead again. A Sean Hackett penalty following a foul on Ruairi Mc Glone drew the sides level but Cavan continued to look the better side and with ten minutes left led 1-12 to 3-5. A forty five from Hackett levelled the game again and Tyrone hit three fine points from Cormac O’Neill, Caolan Corr and Ruairi Mc Glone to qualify for a meeting with Derry in the final on a scoreline of 3-9 to 1-12.
Manager Mickey Donnelly will be delighted to have won this one but will have been greatly impressed with the quality and strength of this Cavan team. The Aghaloo man can now look forward to a rematch with his local rivals but will expect a much tougher challenge from the Oakleaf team in the league final. The sides met earlier in the league and Tyrone won the game comfortably but Derry played that day without their contingent of St Pat’s Maghera and St Colm’s Draperstown players.