The Ulster Minor Hurling League continues this Saturday afternoon and, following last weekends eye catching victory over Donegal, the Tyrone minors will be confident of preserving their winning ways, when they make the short trip to Enniskillen to face neighbours Fermanagh.
The Red Hands made the best possible start to their Division Two League campaign last Saturday, when powering their way to a resounding nine point victory over Donegal. Donegal matched Tyrone throughout the opening period and, when the sides remained level, at the interval, it looked for all the world that this game was going to go the distance. There was nothing to choose between them, but that complexion changed on the restart, as Tyrone upped the tempo to such an extent that Donegal wilted.
Two points inside two minutes of the restart handed Tyrone the initiative and, when Brian McGurk applied the finishing touches to an impressive move featuring Ruairi Devlin and Mark Mullan for a second goal after three minutes, it was game over.
In defence Conor McElhatton, Ronan Grogan, Eamon Duffin and Devlin succeeded in sniffing out the Donegal threat. Tyrone also struggled with Donegal in midfield, but once Tiernan Morgan and Tommy Lowe found their footing, they won this battle hands down with Morgan hoisting over two absolute gems from distance. The Tyrone attack also functioned well as a unit with Damien Casey, McGurk and Gerard Gilmore leading their scoring returns in an industrious front division that cranked up the heat in a devastating second half display.
Fermanagh lost their opening round outing to Monaghan in Clones and as such Tyrone will make the journey confident of taking another step towards the league final.
Fermanagh minor managers Seamus McCusker and Sean Duffy will have been disappointed by their display against the Oriel teenagers. Fermanagh trailed Monaghan 2-8 to 0-6 at the interval in Clones last weekend with Daniel Teague supplying five of their first half points from placed balls. Andrew Sheridan also got his name on the score sheet, but Fermanagh were simply out of their depth.
Monaghan had established a match winning eight point lead despite registering ten first half wides. In the second period Fermanagh only added a further two points as Monaghan cantered home. Fermanagh were clearly lacking in game time and, as such will be out to prove their worth on Saturday afternoon.
Colm McPhillips, Thomas Cleary, Teague and Conor Reilly are all capable of making a telling contribution against their near neighbours this weekend. That said Tyrone made a massive statement of their intentions by defeating a useful Donegal side in such comprehensive fashion. Conor McElhatton, Ruairi Devlin, Tiernan Morgan, Eamon Duffin, Damien Casey and Gerard Gilmore were the stand out performers in a solid team display, who appear to hold too much power and experience in all the crucial sectors of the field as they chase a league final berth.