The Tyrone minor hurlers could waver the right to home advantage for the Division Two Ulster Minor Hurling League final against Monaghan following their impressive win over the Oriel teenagers in Dungannon this afternoon.
With both teams having already qualified for the final, the winners of today’s game would enjoy home advantage in the decider, but Tyrone would consider giving up that right in favour of playing the final, as a curtain raiser to the Division Four National Hurling League Final, between their senior counter parts and South Down.
Aided by a superb Gerard Gilmore point Tyrone stamped their authority on proceedings, as they edged into a 3-0 lead before a Niall Gartland free opened the visitors account on 7 minutes. However, that was the only time they troubled the umpires as wind assisted Tyrone seized control on their way to a match winning 1-13 to 0-1 interval lead.
Damian Casey, Tiernan Morgan and Brian McGurk contributing points before Casey saw a sideline effort slip through Monaghan goalkeepers Lorcan Mulvey into the net on 18 minutes.
The second half will be one of mixed emotions for manager Declan Bennett, as he lost the services of his full back Conor McElhatton to a straight red card as indiscipline dominated Tyrone’s play.
Monaghan pounced on their opportunities with Gartland firing over a succession of frees before Tyrone closed the game out with a late scoring flurry culminating in majors from the hurls of Brendan McShane and Mark Mullan.
The final is due to be played next week, but depending on the fixture planners, if the NHL final is to be played in Ulster, then Tyrone would love to give their minors a share of the spotlight in an interesting double header.