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O'Neill takes gloss off Peter Canavan return

Peter Canavan returned to his old Healy Park stomping ground to take on his beloved Tyrone last night, but suffered his first defeat as Fermanagh manager.

The Red Hands moved on to the semi-finals with their third win on the trot -- and face a rematch with Canavan's men, who qualified as a best runner-up.

In front of a crowd of almost 7,000, the Erne men staged a superb second-half comeback and came close to stealing a remarkable victory.

Tyrone, after a shaky opening, did not get off the mark until the eighth minute, but once Stephen O'Neill nailed their opening score, they were able to hit the target almost at will.

Colm Cavanagh won an abundance of possession around the middle and chipped in with a couple of long-range scores, while O'Neill displayed his genius with two more gems from play.

Indeed, the Red Hands' first seven scores came from open play, with Mickey Murphy and Peter Hughes also on target. Daniel Kille hit Fermanagh's sole first-half score from a free.

Peter Hughes and Tommy McGuigan added to the home side's tally, and they took a commanding 0-10 to 0-1 lead into the interval.

Fermanagh narrowed the gap with points from Seamus and Conor Quigley, and midway through the second half, the youngest of the three Quigley brothers, Sean, fired in a goal.

Seamus Quigley hit his fifth score to make it a two-point game.

But Fermanagh had skipper Ryan McCluskey sent off for a second booking in the 68th minute, and Tyrone held on.

Scorers -- Tyrone: Stephen O'Neill 0-5 (2f), C Cavanagh, M Murphy, P Harte (1 '45) 0-2 each, M Donnelly, T McGuigan (1f) 0-1 each. Fermanagh: Seamus Quigley 0-5 (4f), Sean Quigley 1-0, C Quigley, D Kille (f) 0-1 each.

Tyrone -- J Devine; A McCrory, C McCarron, PJ Quinn; Sean O'Neill, P Harte, D Carlin; M Murphy, C Cavanagh; P Hughes, M Penrose, M Donnelly; T McGuigan, Stephen O'Neill, J Lafferty.

Subs: D McCaul for Carlin, O Mulligan for Penrose, K Coney for Donnelly, S McNulty for McGuigan.

Fermanagh -- R Gallagher; N Bogue, B Owens, J Woods; C Quigley, R McCluskey, N McElroy; E Donnelly, S Lyons; J Sherry, D Keenan, E Maguire; P Ward, D Kille, Sean Quigley. Subs: B Mulrone for Lyons, Seamus Quigley for Kille, T Corrigan for McElroy, L Lynch for Maguire.

Ref -- R O'Donnell (Donegal).

Belfast Telegraph

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