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Red Hands can major on Minor front yet again

 

By John Campbell

Tyrone's impressive sequence of success at under-age level could be further bolstered if they can maintain their present impressive form in the Ulster minor football championship.

The young Red Hands underlined that they have the title very much in their sights by the efficient manner in which they overcame Down by 2-11 to 0-9 at the weekend.

A Mark Hayes goal helped Tyrone into a 1-5 to 0-3 interval lead and when Daniel Fullerton highlighted a superb solo show by grabbing a second goal his side's authority was firmly cemented.

Tyrone spokesman Eugene McConnell issued a word of warning, though.

"There are several good sides left in the competition including reigning champions Derry so we can take nothing for granted," insisted the Clogher man.

Derry indeed showed that they are still keen to land what would be a third provincial title in four years by the emphatic manner in which they disposed of Armagh by 3-14 to 1-5, their goals coming from Sea Murray, Ethan Doherty and Eoghan Hawe.

The Oak Leaf side led by 2-6 to 1-4 at half-time but showed their hosts a clean pair of heels as they streaked clear after the break to give a broad hint that the title remains in their sights.

Armagh manager Paul McGrane was left to take stock of what was a bitterly disappointing defeat. Shane Donnelly's goal fanned the flame of hope in the first half while Louis Hughes and Eoin Woods looked dangerous in attacks but the team's challenge fizzled out after the break.

Fermanagh also found the going tough in losing to Cavan by 2-9 to 1-7, while Monaghan ended Donegal's season by winning by 1-12 to 1-10 at Ballybofey. Loughlin Power's goal proved crucial for Seamus McEnaney's side while the home team benefited from a converted Padraig McGettigan penalty, but they were toothless for much of the second half.

Donegal, who shipped a heavy defeat To Tyrone in their opening match, have seen their fortunes plummet with off-field acrimony accompanying their decline.

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