Tyrone minors made it two wins from two starts and guaranteed themselves a home fixture in the quarter finals of this year’s Ulster Championship following their 2-9 to 1-4 win over Armagh. The second fixture of their group campaign was played in difficult conditions at O’Neills Healy Park on Saturday and both teams deserve great credit for the quality of play considering the conditions they had to contend with.
Armagh played wind assisted in the first half and opened the scoring after eight minutes when Paul Hendron converted a close in free. Tyrone worked hard to create chances but found the deep set Armagh defence difficult to break down. In spite of limited chances the marauding Jamie Concanon and James Corry pointed to put the Red Hands in front 0-2 to 0-1.
Both sides remained strong in defence and resolute in the tackle allowing few chances for the forwards. Armagh centre forward Daragh Mc Nulty burst through to level the game at 0-2 apiece after seventeen minutes but Ruairi Mc Cullagh finished the first half with two fine points to send Tyrone in at the break leading 0-4 to 0-2.
Tyrone began the second half with another Ruairi Mc Cullagh point before Armagh wing back Paul Hendron reduced the gap to two with a well struck free from out wide on the right. The visitors then moved ahead after team captain Darragh Mc Nulty got on the end of a fine move and finished to the net. A converted Ruairi Mc Cullagh free levelled the game for Tyrone and with forty four minutes on the clock Armagh struck for their final score of the contest with a Calum Hughes point to make it Armagh 1-4, Tyrone 0-6.
Tyrone then moved ahead with a fine goal from full forward Aidan Hegarty with thirteen minutes remaining and buoyed by that score they began to dominate their opponents. Ruairi Mc Cullagh’s influence on the game continued to grow and as the game entered the closing ten minutes he hit the net for his team’s second goal. Tyrone followed that up with late points from corner back Concannon, Nathan Farry and substitute Mattie Howe to leave the final score 2-9 to 1-4 in favour of the Red Hands.
This was an improved display from Tyrone as Armagh were in the game for long periods and asked questions of their opponents. Next up for Gerard Donnelly’s side will be a curtain raiser clash with Antrim in Healy Park before the senior championship match between Monaghan and Derry.