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Red Hand young guns fire on all cylinders to crush rivals

Tyrone 3-14 Cavan 0-6

By John Campbell

It was all too easy for Tyrone in this one-sided Ulster U17 football final at Kingspan Breffni where they left Cavan floundering helplessly in their slipstream from the word go.

The home side simply had no answer to the Red Hands' pace, precision and power as they stamped their authority on the match from the outset and climaxed a five-star performance with a four-point blitz that underlined their total dominance.

By half-time, Tyrone had already put one foot in the All-Ireland semi-finals. They led by 2-5 to 0-3, could have had another couple of goals and looked as if they had considerably more in the tank.

This is exactly how things unfurled after the break. With Cormac Donaghy, Darragh Canavan and Thomas Hoy rampant up front, Tyrone lost no time in building on their two early goals from Donaghy and Hoy with the latter in the vanguard of a points haul that saw his side roar into the clear at 2-10 to 0-5.

Cavan, who were guilty of surrendering possession at an inordinate rate and whose defensive vigilance was suspect throughout, managed to mount only occasional raids and in fact did not score from play throughout the second half.

In contrast, Tyrone continued to pierce the home defence at will and when substitute Michael Conroy pocketed their third goal with his first touch in the 52nd minute he set the scene for a polished finish that saw him collect two points to complement similar scores from Nathan Connolly and Darragh Canavan.

It was hardly surprising that manager Collie Holmes was having recourse to superlatives.

"These boys are very dedicated and very honest. We asked for a big effort from them and we got that. Now we have set ourselves up for an All-Ireland semi-final and we will obviously look forward to that. There is still work to be done, of course," said triple All-Ireland winner Holmes.

"We knew in this game the wind was going to be a big factor so the fact that we played against it in the first half meant that we had to get in amongst them and not let them settle.

"I thought that the two goals we got in the first half were absolutely crucial and to be honest I thought that we might have had another couple of goals, but we are not going to complain about that. We will just take the positives from it."

Tyrone: L Quinn 0-1 (f); A Fox 0-1, M McCusker, C Ward; T Quinn, C Munroe, R Slane; M Murnaghan 0-1, J Oguz; C Donaghy 1-3, D Canavan 0-2, D Miller; E Jordan 0-1, C Donnelly, T Hoy 1-2. Subs: M Hayes for Donnelly (46), N Connolly 0-1 for Jordan (51), M Conroy 1-2 for Hoy (51), C Slevin for Miller (54), O McHugh for Ward (54), K Barker for Murnaghan (57). Yellow card: Miller (48).

Cavan: S Lovett; K Smyth, P Nulty, K Brady; D J Cassidy, K Fadoju, G Brady; B Smith 0-1, D Molloy 0-1; C McGovern, S Hanley, C Lynch; S Martin, P Lynch 0-3 (3f), S Keogan 0-1. Subs: G Mannion for G Brady (11), P Smith for S Hanley (BC 18), K Tyler for Keogan (37), S Keogan for McGovern (54), C Shekleton for B Smith (57). Yellow cards: B Smith (48), Mannion (61).

Referee: Ciaran Mooney (Down).

Belfast Telegraph

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