Tyrone secured their third Ulster Minor Football championship title in four years when they had a convincing 12-point victory over defending All Ireland champions Armagh at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones yesterday afternoon.
The Orchard County lads badly missed the services of midfielder and team captain Peter Carragher through injury, however, on the day there was no doubt that the Red Hands were deserving winners.
In midfielder Harry Og Conlon they had the man of the match but this in essence was a team performance from Tyrone and they can now look forward to the All Ireland quarter-finals with confidence.
Armagh, meanwhile, will have a second bite at the cherry when they face Munster champions Cork in the last eight.
Tyrone raced into an early four-point lead with Ronan O’Neill hitting a brace and Richard Donnelly and Conan Grugan also on target before Ryan Rafferty opened Armagh’s account.
It was all Tyrone though in the first-half with Ryan Devlin, John McCullagh and half back duo Niall Sludden and Eunan Deeney all on target with Armagh’s sole reply coming from Paul McGeown as the Red Hands led 0-9 to 0-2 at half-time.
Things didn’t get much better for Armagh on the restart and it says it all about them that two of their three second-half points came from the boot of substitute Ryan Conlon.
Tyrone continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with points from Conlon, substitute Dara Donnelly and Devlin before the latter put the issue beyond doubt with a goal nine minutes from time.
Tyrone: M McReynolds, S McGarrity, C Clarke, H P McGeary, N Sludden [0-1], M Donaghy, E Deeney [0-1], C Grugan [0-1], H Og Conlon [0-1], R Donnelly [0-2], T Canavan, R Devlin [1-2], S Tierney, J McCullagh [0-2], R O’Neill [0-2].
Subs: D Donnelly [0-2] for R Donnelly, D Quinn for Donaghy, P McNulty for McGeary, D McCurry for McCullagh, R Loughran for Conlon.
Armagh: M McNeice, R McCaughley, C Hoey, R Finnegan, D Nugent, J King, N McConville, A Findon, C Gough, M McKenna, A Forker, B Seeley, C Stevenson, P McGeown [0-2], R Rafferty [0-1].
Subs: D McParland for Findon, R Conlon [0-2] for McKenna, C Trainor for Seeley, P Casey for McParland.
Referee: J Galligan (Cavan).