Tuesday 12 December 2017

McAliskey makes the Ernesiders pay

Tyrone 1-13 Fermanagh 0-9

Sean Quigley, Fermanagh, in action against Rory Brennan and Padraig Hampsey, Tyrone. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / Sportsfile
Sean Quigley, Fermanagh, in action against Rory Brennan and Padraig Hampsey, Tyrone. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / Sportsfile
Tyone manager Mickey Harte. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / Sportsfile

Tyrone pulled clear after Fermanagh's key player Eoin Donnelly was sent off early in the second half of this semi-final at Clones.

The Red Hand won comfortably in the end, with Connor McAliskey bagging the only goal of the game in the 51st minute as they set up a final date with Derry next weekend.

The Red Hand are chasing a fifth successive title, and their clash with the Oak Leafers will be one of at least four competitive meetings of the neighbours this season. They are also due to clash in the NFL and the Ulster Championship.

The introduction of a raft of experienced players in the second half, including Sean Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly and Ronan McNamee, was a key factor in Tyrone's strong finish, as manager Mickey Harte affirmed.

"It's always nice to have those kind of players available, and they introduced themselves to the game quite quickly, and I think that made a significant difference," said Harte.

Sean Quigley fired over three points in the opening five minutes, two of them from frees, as Fermanagh set about taking the game positively to their opponents.

The Red Hand finally got off the mark with a Mark Bradley free in the 16th minute, and by this time Rory Brennan was providing extra protection for rookie full-back Padraig Hampsey in his tussle with Quigley.

Fermanagh lost the inspirational Donnelly to a second yellow card on 42 minutes, and their challenge faded, with Tyrone piling on the scores.

Cavanagh, Darren McCurry, Richie Donnelly and Ronan O'Neill all hit stylish scores, and then the outcome was settled by the game's only goal.

Goalkeeper Chris Snow parried Cavanagh's cross, and McAliskey volleyed to the net to open up a seven-point lead.

Tyrone also finished with 14 men after defender Rory Brennan received a straight red card two minutes from the end.

SCORERS -Tyrone: C McAliskey 1-3 (0-2f, 0-1 '45); M Bradley 0-3(3f); D McCurry, R O'Neill (1f) 0-2 each; K McGeary, S Cavanagh, R Donnelly 0-1 each. Fermanagh: S Quigley 0-6 (4f, 1 '45); E McManus, C Jones, C Flaherty 0-1 each.

Tyrone - M O'Neill; J Munroe, P Hampsey, C McCarron; N Sludden, R Brennan, K McGeary; R Donnelly, C Cavanagh; D Mulgrew, C McCann, C Meyler; D McCurry, C McAliskey, M Bradley. Subs: S Cavanagh for Mulgrew (h-t), M Donnelly for McCann (h-t), R McNamee for Munroe (h-t), C Clarke for Meyler (42), B Tierney for McGeary (49), R O'Neill for McAliskey (54).

Fermanagh - C Snow; M Jones, A Breen, P McGovern; D McCusker, J McMahon, C Cullen; C Jones, E Donnelly; B Mulrone, C Flaherty, P McCusker; R Corrigan, S Quigley, T Corrigan. Subs: N Cassidy for R Corrigan (52), P Cadden for McGovern (54), E McManus for Mulrone (52), D Teague for T Corrigan (52), R Hanna for McCusker (65).

Ref - R Barry (Down).

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