A FIRST Ulster U-21 title in six years remains very much within the reach of the Tyrone u-21s after a strong start to last night’s semi-final clash gave them the important cushion to withstand some worrying moments.
Some great points during the opening period from the likes of Richard Donnelly, Darren McCurry and Conor McAliskey put them into a 0-9 to 0-4 interval lead. They looked to be in a good position in the last quarter as well, until a Down goal ensured a few worrying moments.
Victory in the game means that the Red Hands will now be getting set to record a first provincial triumph since 2006 when they play Cavan in the final next Wednesday night. But they will know that major improvements will be needed to complete this winning campaign on a high note.
All the early indications were that this game would produce the same kind of closely fought exchanges which characteristic clashes between the two counties last season. But it wasn’t long before Tyrone were beginning to establish their authority.
Forging runs through the centre from the likes of Sean Warnock, Tiernan McCann and Richard Donnelly saw them settle quickly. More importantly, though, they reaped dividends up front where a series of fine initial scores saw them take the lead.
Richard Donnelly raced through from midfield to get them going. Then Conor Clarke took a pass from Harry Og Conlon to fire over, before Darren McCurry registered the first of a fine series of points to leave them 0-3 to no score ahead.