McKenna Cup: Tyrone 0-14 0-11 Fermanagh

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Tyrone beat Fermanagh by three in McKenna Cup semi-final

Tyrone overcame a stubborn Fermanagh side 0-14 to 0-11 to reach the Dr McKenna Cup final and stay on course for a sixth successive title.

Darren McCurry and Peter Harte led the charge with a combined total of 10 points as the Red Hands recovered from a slow start to triumph at Clones.

Mickey Harte's holders will play Derry at Pairc Esler on Saturday in a repeat of the 2016 final.

Derry saw off Monaghan 2-12 to 1-13 in the other semi-final at Armagh.

Tiernan McCann of Tyrone in action against Fermanagh's Eddie Courtney at Clones
Tiernan McCann of Tyrone in action against Fermanagh's Eddie Courtney at Clones

Fermanagh started the game with a flourish, driven by energy and desire, and they ran at the Tyrone defence at every opportunity, using support runners to stretch their opponents.

They went ahead through Eddie Courtney and Tomas Corrigan, and the Tyrone defence was under sustained pressure.

Midfielder Eoin Donnelly charged through with a goal on his mind, but he was denied by a superb Peter Harte block.

Tyrone finally got their opening score in the 10th minute when McCurry split the posts, and Niall McKenna brought the holders level moments later.

The Tyrone defence grew in stature as the game wore on, and restricted the Erne men to just one point in the second quarter, a third free for Corrigan.

Fermanagh's Declan McCusker, Darryl Keenan and Che Cullen
Fermanagh's hopes of an appearance in the McKenna Cup final were dashed by holders Tyrone

An injury to Colm Cavanagh saw older brother Sean enter the action on the half-hour for his first appearance of 2017 and the beginning of a 16th season in the Tyrone county colours.

Harte's fourth free sent Tyrone in with a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead, and they started moving more freely in the second period, with McCurry taking over the free-taking duties, as well as adding a magnificent effort from play.

They went ahead by 0-10 to 0-5 and, after Paul McCusker had pulled back an Erne point, the Red Hands went 0-13 to 0-6 up, with McCurry, Cathal McShane and Lee Brennan hitting the target.

Fermanagh introduced Sean Quigley, who landed a couple of long range frees, with Aidan Breen and Corrigan also on target, but the holders held out for a place in the final.

Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals
Derry2-12 1-13Monaghan
Tyrone0-14 0-11Fermanagh

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