Scoring power over Fermanagh helps Tyrone stroll into last four
Tyrone 0-17 Fermanagh 0-7
Tyrone strolled to a facile victory over Fermanagh in the Ulster Under-21 quarter-final in Omagh last night, with their superior scoring power the simple difference.
This is the first time Tyrone have won their first game in Ulster at this level since 2012 and they will be unsure of just how much they were tested due to the paucity of Fermanagh's challenge.
"The first round is always dangerous, no matter who you play," said Red Hands manager Feargal Logan. "We are glad to navigate our way past Fermanagh and we will see what happens now."
Asked if there is pressure in this role, with Tyrone without a title at this level since 2006, Logan answered: "There is always pressure. But if everyone puts their shoulder to the wheel then we will see where we get to."
By half time the game was already over as a contest. Vinny Connolly's Fermanagh had managed only one point against Tyrone, coming from Sean McManus' opener for the Ernemen. Eddie Courtney added another point with a free from distance, but that was the extent of their scoring as Tyrone went into the interval 0-9 to 0-2 ahead.
The visitors were also left frustrated when Paddy Rehill was hauled down in the box by Padraig Hampsey, but Eoin McManus failed to compose himself as he struck the base of the left post.
The nature of Tyrone's scores were beautiful in their simplicity. In the first quarter they relied on the sharp feet and pace of Mark Bradley as he hit three peachy points.
In the second quarter they really turned the screw, with Conor Meyler and Ruairi Sludden dropping deep to orchestrate attacks and Danny McNulty and Bradley left close to goal.
Centre-forward Mark Kavanagh hit four points in that blistering spell.
Fermanagh were better in open play in the flesh, but the scoreboard has no room for nuance. They won their share of kickouts with Rehill and Tomás Clarke two decent presences, while Ciaran Corrigan played the sweeper role with intelligence.
The problems emerged when they ventured into the final third. They did not possess the strength to break the first tackle and their kicking left a lot to be desired.
The second half followed much the same pattern. Fermanagh managed to stay in touch with four Courtney pointed frees but Tyrone always had too much of an edge, with Cathal McShane showing his ability with one fine point after a dummy.
Lee Brennan was introduced as a substitute and hit three points in three minutes to underline his prospects when they meet the winners of the re-scheduled Antrim and Armagh game.
Meanwhile, holders Cavan bowed out of the Championship as they were going for five-in-a-row against Donegal in Ballybofey.
Young Player of the Year Ryan McHugh had missed a penalty for Donegal, but made amends with a goal late in injury time to win the game.
TYRONE: S Fox; R Mullan, P Hampsey, F McGarrity; C McLaughlin, R Brennan, K McGeary (C) 0-1; F Burns, C McShane 0-3, 1f; C Meyler 0-1, M Kavanagh 0-4, M Walsh; M Bradley 0-3, D McNulty 0-1, 1f, R Sludden 0-1
Subs: S McKenna for McNulty (39m), L Brennan 0-3, for Sludden (41m), R McGlone for Walsh (52m), R Kelly for R Brennan (52m), C Byrne for Mullan (60m)
Yellow cards: McNulty (16m), Bradley (33m), Walsh (37m), Sludden (41m), R Brennan (45m), McGeary (54m)
Black cards: McShane (60m, replaced by D Kavanagh)
FERMANAGH: P Sweeney; S Mimna, J Allen, C McManus; C Corrigan, J McMahon, T O'Hara; P Rehill, T Clarke; G McKenna, C McAuley, S McManus 0-1; T McCaffrey 0-1, E Courtney (C) 0-5, 5f, E McManus
Subs: D Greene for O'Hara (Half-time), A McGoldrick for Clarke (45m) R Maguire for McKenna (46m), P Murphy for McAuley (53m), S McGullion for Rehill (59m)
Yellow cards: Allen (33m)
Referee: Donal Connolly (Monaghan)