/ GAA

Tyrone 2-24 Fermanagh 3-20

Updated: Saturday, 09 Jun 2012 16:14 | Comments

Tyrone's Paul McGoldrick battles with Fermanagh's Mike O'Gorman
Tyrone's Paul McGoldrick battles with Fermanagh's Mike O'Gorman

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Late points from Justin Kelly (1-08) and Conor Grogan (0-04) secured a second Lory Meagher Cup title for Tyrone as they beat Fermanagh 2-24 to 3-20 after extra-time at Croke Park.

Fermanagh led by 3-17 to 1-21 at half-time in extra-time, with Tyrone reduced to 14 men following the dismissal of half-forward Aidan Kelly.

The Ernesiders held a one-point lead with three minutes remaining thanks to a point from Sean Corrigan (1-08), but Tyrone finished the stronger with those two decisive points.

Tyrone were chasing their second title in this competition, while for Fermanagh today marked their first appearance in a Lory Meagher Cup final.

The 2009 champions began brightly with a score from Conor Grogan after just a minute, but the challengers displayed their hunger for honours over the next eight minutes.

Fermanagh got off the mark in the fourth minute thanks to a Paul McGoldrick pointed free, and managed to outscore their opponents by 2-03 to 0-03 up to the tenth minute.

Indeed, Fermanagh grabbed a hat-trick of first half goals with Shea Curran netting the opener in the fifth minute. The Lisnakea full-forward powered the ball home after a long-range Declan McGarry shot dropped short.

Sean Corrigan and Damien Casey then traded points, while a Gerald Gilmore point cut the gap to two points in the eighth minute.

However, Fermanagh took control in the midfield sector and made Tyrone pay over the next two minutes, Corrigan claiming his second point before McGarry broke through for the second goal.

Tyrone cut the deficit to the minimum in the 19th minute, thanks to five unanswered points with Damien Casey, Justin Kelly, Sean Óg Grogan and Conor Grogan on target.

Fermanagh continued to look dangerous in front of the posts and it was not long before they completed their hat-trick. Corrigan brought his tally to 1-02 after JP McGarry provided the pass in the 24th minute.

However, the sides were tied in the 28th minute as a Justin Kelly point coupled with a Seán Óg Grogan goal left the scoreline at 1-09 to 3-03.

Tyrone got on top in the closing stages of the half, with points from Shea McKiver and Damien Casey helping them take a 1-12 to 3-04 interval lead.

After conceding three goals, Tyrone manager Tom Magill tried to strengthen his defence for the second half with the introduction of John Devlin between the posts.

The Red Hands certainly looked stronger at the back when play resumed, while up front they continued to impress. Points from Damien Casey and Séan Óg Grogan gave them a four-point lead for the first time in the 41st minute, but Fermanagh battled on.

Scores were at a premium over the next 11 minutes, but a trio of points, including two frees for midfielder John Duffy, cut the gap to the minimum as the game entered the final quarter.

Fermanagh had the bulk of the scoring opportunities during this period, also sending three efforts wides of the target though. A well-placed shot from Sean Corrigan levelled the sides for the third time, on a 3-08 to 1-14 scoreline.

Tyrone sensed danger, but found a calming force as Justin Kelly slotted over his first point from play and his side's first score in 15 minutes.

Such was the tight nature of this game in the final quarter that no more than two points split them. Tyrone held a two-point advantage with 10 minutes left on the clock following scores from Justin and Aidan Kelly.

But Fermanagh never gave up and points from Declan McGarry and a superb Ryan Bogue score squared things up again at 3-11 to 1-17 in the 66th minute.

The sides traded points on two further occasions before Duffy's fifth point of the second half had Fermanagh on course for silverware.

With at least two minutes of injury-time to follow there was still time for Tyrone to snatch a possible winner. Justin Kelly cut through for a goal opportunity in the 71st minute, but Fermanagh goalkeeper Dwayne McPhilips pulled off a superb save.

Tyrone continued to pile on the pressure and they won a late free which Conor Grogan converted into the Dineen Terrace end. The two minutes of additional time had been played at this stage, but referee Sean Cleere still allowed another scoring opportunity.

Fermanagh cut through with the ball played into full-forward Curran, yet his goal-bound shot was expertly saved by Tyrone's substitute net minder John Devlin.

Fermanagh edged the first period of extra-time, outscoring their opponents by three points to one in this spell. Tyrone were also dealt a major blow when Aidan Kelly was dismissed on a straight red card after a foul on Barry Smith.

Duffy clipped over the resulting free to claim his sixth point and put Fermanagh 3-16 to 1-20 ahead in the 75th minute.

Back came Tyrone and scores from Justin Kelly and Conor Grogan inside a 30-second spell gave them a slender 2-24 to 3-20 lead with two minutes left on the clock.

At the opposite end defenders Mickey Kelly and Martin Grogan stood firm. Captain Damian Maguire also showed great leadership in the 82nd minute - he was fouled coming out with the ball and Declan McGarry was duly given a straight red card for his challenge on the Tyrone full-back.

The closing stages of this all-Ulster final were marred by some unsavoury scenes and there were further red cards for Tyrone's Paudie McHugh and Fermanagh full-forward Curran.

The full-time whistle brought about scenes of jubliation for the Tyrone players, management and supporters. After the game GAA President Liam O'Neill presented the trophy to victorious Tyrone captain Jason Kelly.

Scorers - Tyrone: Justin Kelly 1-08, (0-04f, 0-01 '65'), S Óg Grogan 1-03, C Grogan (0-01f), D Casey (0-04f) 0-04 each, A Kelly 0-02, S McKiver, G Gilmore, R O'Neill 0-01 each
Fermanagh: S Corrigan 1-08, J Duffy 0-07 (0-04f), D McGarry, S Curran 1-01 each, P McGoldrick (2f) 0-02; R Bogue 0-01

TYRONE: Jason Kelly; M Kelly, D Maguire, R Winters; M O'Gorman, M Grogan, S McCrory; Justin Kelly, C Gallagher; A Kelly, S McKiver, D Casey; G Gilmore, S Óg Grogan, C Grogan.

Subs used: J Devlin for Jason Kelly (half-time), R O'Neill for Gilmore (46 mins), SP Begley for O'Gorman (61), S Donnelly for McCrory (64), S Hagan for Casey (67), D Casey for McKiver (79), P McHugh for Gallagher (82), M O'Gorman for McCrory (83), P O'Connor for Hagan (86).

FERMANAGH: D McPhilips; D Teague, E Morrissey, F Bannon; F McBrien, M Slevin, K Kehoe; J Duffy, R Bogue; JP McGarry, D McGarry, A Breslin; S Corrigan, S Curran, P McGoldrick.

Subs used: B Smith for McGoldrick (half-time), S Mulholland for McBrien (63 mins), C McGarry for Mulholland (half-time, extra-time), P McGoldrick for Breslin (88).

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