TYRONE 0-11 SLIGO 0-5
TYRONE minors chalked up a second win in the Ulster League series when beating the elements to record this six-point success over a spirited Sligo side at Stewartstown on Saturday.
Springtime snow relented in the 24 hours running up to this Ulster minor league tie that was moved to Mullaghmoyle Park for a landmark moment at the Harps. Sligo made the long trek and the visiting camp will be reasonably content with their display despite finding scores hard enough to find on the day.
These two teams were keen to get the go ahead for action amid a wintry spell at the weekend on the field of play as another league game represented a further signpost in their respective preparation for future championship assignments.
Tyrone started play with a win over Cavan and a defeat to Donegal. Sligo arrived in snowy Tyrone having been on the wrong side of a sizeable scoreline in their recent tie against Cavan and the Connacht camp were determined to deliver a better performance here.
The guests did indeed perform to a higher level and were well in touch after a low-scoring first half on 0-4 to 0-1 for Tyrone. The Red Hand team tagged on seven additional second half points to four in reply as some substitutions, allied to a few positional reshuffles, helped harvest some more productivity in scoring and general play terms.
Liam Lawn, supported by Conor Devlin at centr efield, Jamie Concannon and James Corry among others in the home defence posted good displays for the Red Hand camp. Aiden Woods and team-mates plus some second half subs also found their stride.
On Sligo’s side, the likes of Cian Carty up front, Dara Moyston in midfield plus Oran Harte, Cian Gallagher and others across the field provided encouragement for the Connacht squad. Both teams fluffed some openings within range of the posts but Tyrone proved a step more economical regarding conversions of chances created.
It was Sligo who started the scoring through a fifth minute Cian Carty free as both sets of players tried to contend with cold conditions and a strong breeze blowing in Tyrone’s first half favour.
Quick inter-passing from Tyrone set up Aiden Woods who fired over their first score on seven minutes. Woods also supplied the gloss finish to a follow-up ninth minute move for a second point of proceedings.
Kelvin Nelson curled over a third home point before corner-back Jamie Concannon made it 0-4 to 0-1 by the 17th minute; Concannon and Turlough Muldoon among those getting involved in some combined Tyrone forward forays. Wayward shooting subsequently on behalf of the two teams left the scores standing as such over half-time, although centre-half back Sean Broderick was unlucky to see a goalbound shot hit the post.
Sligo started the closing 30 minutes on the front foot and Conor McDonagh broke their scoring drought with a second point but they were off target a few times afterwards.
Tyrone counter-attacked and Liam Lawn slotted over from second phase possession for his team’s opening score of the half. Lawn was then quick on the move when landing a tidy point after a probing run at the Sligo defence.
Liam McGeary, Liam Lawn, Ronan Bradley and Aidan Hegarty sent over scores in succession as Tyrone asked more questions of the home defence. Tyrone’s grip on the game was tightening and Sligo found it tough to break through the home defence at the other end.
Cian Carty then had a free in reply as Sligo continued to try hard and Dara Moyston was on target too for the visitors. Davagh Loughran arrived on for the host side and got through some good approach play in the process.
Sligo notched a fifth point all told when Conor MvDonagh angled over his second of the last half; Tyrone wrapping up their returns courtesy of Liam McGeary’s second score.
It was a testing day weather wise but both teams still strung together some attractive moves, although that bit of aforementioned productiveness in score getting terms gave Tyrone an important advantage.
It’s on to round four of the Ulster league in the next week or so as early foundations continue to form what Tyrone hope will be a resolute challenge for honours as the 2023 campaign unfolds.
Sligo set sail for the wintry West after good hospitality from the Harps of Stewartstown and the Connacht contingent will certainly feel more heartened by their efforts here rather than in the previous round. Tyrone will now be eying a third sectional victory.
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