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Tyrone Minors Through To Ulster Final
Tyrone 6-21 Fermanagh 1-6
Tyrone powered their way through to the Electric Ireland Ulster minor championship final when an outstanding display of attacking football saw them secure a comprehensive victory over Fermanagh at O’Neills Healy Park.
The winners trailed by two points by the 11th minute but after that it was all one way traffic as they carved open the visitors time and time again. It was 2-10 to 1-3 at the interval and when a third major arrived only two minutes after the restart it was all over bar the shouting. To their credit Fermanagh kept plugging away but they came up against a side that were on top of their game with ten different players featuring on the scoresheet with their bench contributing 1-6. This was a good all round team display and while they racked up an impressive tally the defence also stood out as they gave their opponents precious little or no room. Donegal will no doubt represent a much sterner test in next week’s final at Brewster Park although on the evidence of this display they will carry the favourites tag in that decider.
Ronan Cassidy opened the scoring for Tyrone and by the 5th minute they were three points to the good thanks to a brace from team Captain Cormac Devlin. A free from Caoilte Farry opened Fermanagh’s account in the 10th minute they got in for a well worked goal from Cian O’Brien. In the next attack Farry knocked over another free but that was as good as it got for the Erne lads as Tyrone assumed control. The impressive Cassidy added a point and in the 14th minute the same player gave his side a lead that they were never to lose when he availed of a poor clearance to finish to the net.
Ronan Strain tagged on a point from distance before a Devlin free left four between the sides. A good move from Fermanagh resulted in a point from defender Diarmuid Owens in the 22nd minute for what proved to be their last score of the opening half. From here to the break Tyrone set about building a match winning advantage with points from Devlin, Gavin Potter and Cassidy coming either side of a second goal from the latter.
Tyrone picked up where they had left off on the restart as Devlin played the ball to Paddy McCann who swapped passes with Potter before palming the ball to the back of the net. Devlin pointed from a free as well as from play before Eoin McElholm was rewarded for his hard work with a neat palmed finish from close range after he had exchanged passes with Potter.
Moments later Tyrone found the net again when defender Shea O’Hare was on hand to score after the Fermanagh defence had did well to block an initial attempt at goal. There was no let up from Tyrone as substitute Noah Grimes got their next goal after another well worked move. Fermanagh Captain Sean Conlon got a point but Tyrone responded as McElholm, substitute duo Conor Owens  and Brian Hampsey as well as Strain and Potter all registered. Owens and McCann had Fermanagh points but they then had Ogie Kelly sent off in injury time before Conor Owens and Grimes had the final scores of the game.
Tyrone – Niall Robinson, Michael Rafferty, Ronan Fox, Callan Kelly, Hugh Cunningham, Shea O’Hare [1-0], Matthew Mallon, Ronan Donnelly, Ruairi McHugh, Ronan Strain [0-2], Cormac Devlin [0-6, 3F], Gavin Potter [0-3], Ronan Cassidy [2-3], Paddy McCann [1-0], Eoin McElholm [1-1]. Subs – Noah Grimes [1-1] for Cassidy, Conor Owens [0-4, 1F] for Devlin, Brian Hampsey [0-1] for McHugh, Fiachra Donnelly for Cunningham, Conan Devlin for Donnelly
Fermanagh – Jamie Ray, Cal McAnespy, Pearse McDermott, Kai McGoldrick, Diarmuid Owens [0-2], Conaill Boyle, Jamie McCaffrey, Lughaidh Donnelly, Dan McCann [0-1, 1F], Donnacha Morris, Cian O’Brien [1-0], Conor O’Hanlon, Kealan Fitzpatrick, Caoilte Farry [0-2, 2F], Sean Conlon [0-1]. Subs – Ogie Kelly for O’Hanlon, Caolan Brennan for Morris, Tiarnan McKenna for Farry, Conall Maguire for Ray, Ruaidhri O’Keefe for McAnespy
Referee – Michael Moore, Down