Tyrone hurlers bounce back with resounding win

Thursday, 13 April 2017

TYRONE will face Derry in Sunday's Ulster Senior Hurling Shield final, hot on the heels of a resounding semi-final win over Fermanagh.

Fermanagh ...0-10

Damien Casey led the charge with a 1-11 haul, while Pierse O'Kelly fired in two goals, with Bryan McGurk also finding the net at Clones.

The Red Hands went into the game on the back of a heavy loss to Donegal in the NHL Division 3A final, but they responded magnificently with a sparkling display of attacking hurling.

“Derry are a Division 2B team, so we know it's a big step up, but that's the sort of games that we want to be playing, playing the likes of Derry, to see where we are," said Tyrone manager Mattie Lennon.

“And there's no better way of preparing for going into the Nicky Rackard Cup the following week against Monaghan.

“The Nicky Rackard is the championship, and a lot of the lads put their name in the hat by the way they played, and it's good to have that."

Lennon was delighted with the way the players bounced back from a heavy defeat to Donegal in the NHL Division 3A final.

“It was great to get a win, and we played some good hurling into the bargain," he said.

“It was a very hot day for hurling, but they did a lot of the things that we asked them to do during the week at training.

“It's good to get back playing again and get a game straight away, after last week, and the boys were up for it, good to get a win." While Casey was the star finisher, Lennon praised the contributions of all those who contributed to resounding success.

“It was a good team performance, I know Damien got the big scores, but everybody put their shoulders to the wheel at different times.

“It was a warm day, but the energy levels were good, the intensity was good, and we moved the ball well around the field.

“The pitch was in good nick, the weather was good, and you could see the speed of the game, it's a different game when you play in conditions like this.

“The ball moves faster and the mobile hurlers come to the fore, and it's great to be able to play at Clones in the conditions there was.

“This was our second final so it;s great for the profile of the game, great for the young lads.

“It lifts the whole profile of the game in the county and that's what you're aiming to do, is trying to push on and to play at a higher level. And its great to get to a final and play against a team like Derry."

Casey fired over six points in the opening quarter as the Red Hands opened up a 0-7 to 0-1 lead, with Ryan McKernan also on target.

Sean Corrigan had Fermanagh's only score in that spell, splitting the posts from a free, and he was to be his side's chief scoring threat.

Tyrone struck for a goal on 20 minutes, when Bryan McGurk finishing in style, before

Their opponents responded with a couple of Corrigan frees and a Francis McBrien score.

Pierse O'Kelly capped a fine run with a clinical finish to the net to give his side a commanding 2-9 to 0-5 interval lead.

Casey continued to hit the target, and the outcome was put beyond doubt when O'Kelly banged in his second goal, and scores from Lorcan Devlin saw the Red Hands safely through to the decider.

Tyrone scorers: Damien Casey 1-11 (0-7 frees), Pierse O'Kelly 2-1, Bryan McGurk 1-1, Matthew Mulgrew, Lorcan Devlin 0-2 each , Tiarnan Morgan, Ryan McKernan 0-1 each.

Fermanagh scorers: Sean Corrigan 0-5 (3 frees), Francis McBrien 0-2, Andrew Breslin, John Duffy (1 free), Shea Curran 0-1 each.

Tyrone: Conor McElhatton, Padraig McHugh, Brendan Begley, Sean Muldoon, Lorcan Devlin, Stephen  Donnelly, Tiarnan Morgan, Aidan Kelly, Dermott Begley, Chris Cross, Pierse Kelly, Bryan McGurk, Matty Mulgrew, Damien Casey, Ryan McKenna.

Subs: Justin Kelly for Dermott Begley, Darragh Grogan for Casey, Dean Rafferty for Morgan, Damhlac Rush for Muldoon, Brian McGilloway for Mulgrew.

Fermanagh: Cathal McGarry,Odhran Russell, Mark Slevin, Diaraid Russell, Andrew Breslin, John Paul McGarry, Thomas Cleary, Ryan Bogue, Francis McBrien, Brendan McGarry, Eoin Cleary, Rory Porteous, Sean Corrigan, Brian Jones, Conor McShea.

Subs Shea Curran for Cleary, John Duffy for Jones, Joe Gavin for B McGarry,

Referee: James Connors (Donegal).


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