TYRONE qualified for the semi-finals of the McKenna Cup with an instantly forgettable win over Fermanagh at Healy Park last night.
After an inauspicious start to the game, Aidan Breen banged over a point from distance after six minutes to put the visitors ahead.
The opening 20 minutes were forgettable in the extreme but Fermanagh fans will have been encouraged by the quality of some of their defensive play.
Tyrone finally scored their first point of the day in the 22nd minute when Peter Harte scored a tap-over free after Niall Sludden was fouled.
Fermanagh midfielder Ryan Jones, who had a fantastic half, then embarked on impressive run before setting up his sibling Conal for a gem of a score, which left the scoreboard reading 0-2 to 0-1 in their favour after 25 minutes of action.
Mickey Harte’s men seemed to sleepwalk their way through the first-half, almost as if Wednesday night McKenna Cup action isn’t enough to get the juices flowing,
Nothing seemed to stick in the full-forward line, but Peter Harte converted another free on the stroke of half-time to leave it two apiece on the scoreboard.
The withering description of a press colleague? “The first half will go down as one of the worst 38 minutes of football ever played.”
Ronan O’Neill had an early goal chance at the start of the second-half which was well-smothered by Thomas Treacy, but the Erne County grabbed the lead when Kane Connor popped the ball over the after putting on the afterburners.
Peter Harte equalised from the dead ball but remarkably Tyrone had yet to score from play after 40 minutes of play.
DD Mulgrew changed all that in the 43rd minute as the Red Hands edged into the lead for the first time. Like buses, Ciaran McLaughlin nicked over another point from play less than 60 seconds later.
Fermanagh reduced the deficit to a single point when Garvan Jones scored a long-range free but Grugan restored Tyrone’s two-point advantage in the 55th minute.
Niall Morgan lofted over a free to open up some daylight between the two teams with the scoreboard reading 0-7 to 0-4 with 63 minutes gone.
FULL REPORT IN TODAY’S STRABANE CHRONICLE