Tyrone Vs Fermanagh

Since Peter Canavan was announced as the Fermanagh senior manager back in December, there have been a lot of conversations and articles written about how the first encounter he would have against Tyrone would go.  Well the supporters and journalists only had to wait until the third game in 2012 for this to happen as Tyrone took on Fermanagh in the 3rd round of the Dr Mc Kenna Cup on Wednesday night in a game that would determine who would top Section A.

I headed off to Healy Park with mo chara Kev in good time on Wednesday night thankfully as there was a massive crowd of over 6,600 to see the game…. a considerable amount of people more than the average crowd of roughly 3,000 that attended the previous two Tyrone Mc Kenna cup games this year. And of course, this official attendance did not include the media of which there were a very large number…. certainly more than some first round Ulster Championship games I have been at! Local and regional TV reporters, photographers, web videographers, journalists…. you name it, they were there to capture the first Harte Vs Canavan battle.

This helped to build-up the game even more and the pre-match TV interview that Peter and Mickey gave together on the field added to the warm atmosphere on a cool enough evening. It was another great advert too for the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup which seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year.

Moving onto the action on the field, Tyrone went in at half time with a comfortable 0-10 to 0-01 lead thanks to points from Stephen O’Neill, Mickey Murphy, Colm Cavanagh and Matthew Donnelly. The Tyrone back line was only tested once early on in the first half when Sean Quigley managed to scramble away from Cathal Mc Carron in front of the goals but his scuffed shot was saved by Devine.

The second half saw a more determined Fermanagh side come out which was probably more characteristic of the side that beat Antrim and QUB in their first two games under Canavan. A different mindset and a few changes on the bench all paid off when Fermanagh scored a goal thanks to Sean Quigley leaving it 0-12 to 1-05. Fermanagh pushed on and got another couple of points but it wasn’t enough as Tyrone eased to a 0-13 to 1-07 win… not exactly the best second half performance from Tyrone but they did enough.

As people left Healy Park, it was then announced that both counties qualified for the Mc Kenna Cup semi-finals and low and behold Tyrone are facing Fermanagh AGAIN this Sunday with a game that has even more at stake for both counties. Hopefully there will be less of a media circus at the Athletic Grounds but either way it is a tie that is sure to keep the sports journalists and commentators writing and talking over the next few days!

Here are some of my photos under the lights.

Two men that need no introduction ....Mickey Harte and Peter Canavan shake hands as they finish a TV interview and move back to their changing rooms before Wednesday night's game.

 

Peter Canavan speaks to his Fermanagh back room team before the throw in.

 

Cathal Mc Carron looks for options as Aidan Mc Crory clears the path for him in the background.

 

Darryl Keenan got little space from Dermot Carlin all night.

 

John Devine safely fists away a dangerous high ball around the goal mouth.

 

Cathal Mc Carron gets himself into a spot of trouble.

 

Fermanagh's Sean Quigley is put under pressure by Tyrone.

 

Mickey Murphy shoots in front of goal in the second half...

 

... but narrowly misses.

 

Aidan Mc Crory made a number of fast counter attacks from the back line again.

 

Martin Penrose side steps John Woods.

 

Peter Canavan and Ger Tracey look on from the Fermanagh sideline.

 

Peter Canavan and Mickey Harte shake hands at the final whistle but they will have to do it all again in just 4 days time.

 

Mickey speaks to his back room team afterwards during a brief shower of rain.

 

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