Tyrone overrun Fermanagh to reach semis

 

Tyrone 1-21 Fermanagh 0-5

Tyrone crushed Fermanagh's All-Ireland ambitions at Croke Park this afternoon, putting down the Erneside rebellion in ruthless fashion.

While Fermanagh were always underdogs going into today's quarter-final, the performances of Dom Corrigan's side in taking the scalps of Cavan, Meath and Mayo in the qualifiers had many romantics in the county dreaming the impossible dream.

That dream was cruelly extinguished within minutes of the throw-in as the Red Hand county quickly set about establishing a commanding lead. Tyrone's dynamic forward line went straight about their business, Peter Canavan pointing inside 90 seconds, and before 10 minutes were on the clock, the writing was on the wall for Fermanagh.

While the Fermanagh forwards toiled fruitlessly against the well-oiled machine of the Tyrone rear-guard, marshalled imperiously by Cormac McAnallen, their own defence was given a roasting from the outset.

As the two man full -forward line of Canavan and Eoin Mulligan created havoc on the inside, with the latter producing another top-class performance despite carrying a shoulder injury into the contest, the half-forwards enjoyed the freedom of the vast Croke Park spaces.

Even in the early stages, Fermanagh's marking was virtually non-existent and all six of the Tyrone forwards pointed in the first-half.

Sean Cavanagh wasn't going to turn down the generosity on offer and with his midfield partner Kevin Hughes playing a holding role, the bustling number nine burst forward, albeit unchallenged, at will to notch a goal and two points, the goal coming after some fine build-up play from the livewire Mulligan.

Mulligan himself notched three points before the break and with the match effectively over as a contest, the only curiosity at half-time was that Canavan had managed just one score himself.

The Tyrone captain resumed normal service after the break, however, adding another three scores to his personal tally in what was little more than a procession. Fermanagh, to their credit, tried gamely to add some respectability to the scoreline but were simply overawed on the day.

Had Tyrone opted to shoot on goal instead of kicking points when clean through on goal, Fermanagh's humiliation may well have been compounded. Nevertheless, Corrigan faces a tough enough job regrouping after such a mauling while Harte will go into the semi-finals buoyed by this win but fully aware tougher tests lie in wait.