Tyrone on target to land sixth successive Dr McKenna Cup

Tyrone 0-14 Fermanagh 0-11: Tyrone remain on course for a sixth successive Dr McKenna Cup title following their three points win over battling Fermanagh at Clones.
Tyrone on target to land sixth successive Dr McKenna Cup

The Red Hands had to dig deep to fend off their spirited opponents, but class and quality came to the fore in the end.

Darren McCurry top-scored for the second week in a row with six points, while Peter Harte chipped in with four converted frees.

The Erne men owned the ball in the opening stages, retaining possession and using support runners to prise opening in the opposition defence.

Early scores from Eddie Courtney and Tomas Corrigan had them two ahead, but Peter Harte, who had moments earlier executed a superb block on Eoin Donnelly, made the running to send Darren McCurry in Tyrone’s tenth minute opener.

The Red Hands went in front for the first time in the 21st minute with a Harte free, but had Fermanagh’s finishing been of a better quality, they would have been in a decent position heading into the final ten minutes of the half, but it was the holders who extended their lead with another Harte free.

The Red Hands improved at the back and conceded just one point in the second quarter, with Harte’s fourth free sending them in with a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead A magnificent long range score from McCurry, his third from play was followed by his second converted free, but Fermanagh were not lacking in spirit and desire, and they hit back with scores from Paul McCusker and Corrigan.

And as Fermanagh sought to find openings and craft scores, extra bodies filtered back to combine in a virtual shut-out.

Sean Quigley came off the bench to give the Erne med added thrust in attack, and he sent a 48 metre free sailing between the posts, before Aidan Breen landed a gem from long range, and the deficit was down to three.

Substitute Mark Bradley jinked through for a delightful score, and while Quigley and Corrigan both sent frees between the uprights, Fermanagh were unable to find that killer touch that would have rescued the game.

Scorers for Tyrone:

D McCurry 0-6 (3f), P Harte 0-4 (4f), N McKenna, L Brennan, M Bradley, C McShane 0-1 each.

Scorers for Fermanagh:

T Corrigan 0-6 (6f), S Quigley 0-2 (2f), P McCusker, E Courtney, A Breen 0-1 each.

TYRONE:

M O’Neill, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, R McNabb, T McCann, P Harte, C Cavanagh, P McNulty, D McClure, N Sludden, N McKenna, D McCurry, C McShane, L Brennan.

Subs:

S Cavanagh for C Cavanagh (30), P Hampsey for McCrory (h-t), C Cavanagh for S Cavanagh (h-t), M Donnelly for Harte (h-t), M Bradley for McKenna (44), C Meyler for C Cavanagh (49), R O’Neill for Brennan (59), C McCullagh for Sludden (67),

FERMANAGH:

T Tracey, M Jones, C Cullen, C McManus, J Allen, D McCusker, R McCluskey, P Reihill, L Cullen, E Donnelly, P McCusker, J McMahon, A Breen, B Mulrone, E Courtney, T Corrigan.

Subs:

D Keenan for McMahon (h-t), McMahon for McCluskey (44), Cathal Beacom for Reihill (50), S Quigley for Courtney (51), T McCaffrey for Mulrone (57).

Referee:

N Mooney (Cavan).

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