Dromore and Clonoe set for final battle

DROMORE powered into their third Tyrone SFC final in four seasons with an impressive 0-16 to 0-8 win over Omagh at Pomeroy yesterday which sets up a repeat of the 2008 decider against Clonoe.

Dromore, with a strong wind in their backs, led by just a point at the beginning of the second quarter, after Ronan O’Neill was on target for Omagh. Eoin McCusker, Paddy Montague and Hugh McNulty were on target for the St Dympna’s (Dromore) as they moved into a 0-4 to 0-3 lead.

But they moved into overdrive in the final 10 minutes of the half, winning valuable possession at midfield through McNulty and Montague.

Montague fired over two more excellent scores, and defenders Ryan McMenamin and Kevin Donnelly also pressed forward to score.

Dromore led by 0-10 to 0-4 at the interval, but the anticipated Omagh revival saw them pull back points through Conor O’Donnell and Justin McMahon.

But Dromore restored their six points advantage through McCusker and Colm McCullagh.

Omagh continued to press, but some excellent defending from McMenamin and Fabian O’Neill restricted their scoring opportunities.

And Dromore were able to soak up spells of pressure and break at pace to add to their tally, with McCusker adding a delightful point from a tight angle.

They restored their six points cushion going into the final quarter, and the workrate of Conor O’Hara, Sean McDonnell and Ronan McNabb was paying rich dividends and they went eight points clear with Donnelly’s second score.

Meanwhile, Clonoe’s class and experience proved too much for parish rivals Derrylaughan in a one-sided semi-final at Dungannon. The O’Rahilly’s played some wonderfully controlled and fluent football as they booked their place in the county final for the second time in four years with a 1-13 to 1-3 win.

There was never any doubt about the outcome of this local derby, a first senior championship meeting of the sides in 38 years, even when reigning Intermediate champions pulled back a goal early in the second half.

Clonoe flew into a three points lead with scores from Conor McAliskey, Colm Doris and Shane Coney in the opening three minutes.

And they staged a storming finish to the first half with a volley of scores, the best of which came from McAliskey, to take a commanding 0-9 to 0-1 lead into the interval.

Ciaran Quinn punished a defensive lapse with a goal five minutes into the second half, and Martin McStravog was denied a second by Mickey O’Neill’s excellent save.

But Damien Cassidy’s side never panicked, and tightened their grip on the contest with a series of intricate passing moves which starved their opponents of the oxygen of possession.

Difficult underfoot conditions hampered their efforts to run up a big scoreline, however, but they did kill of the game with McAliskey’s 46th minute goal, clinically finished from a Colm Doris assist, before inspirational midfielder Stephen McNulty finished the job off with his third score.

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