Fermanagh Juniors 0-2 Co. Tyrone (Young 36’, 60+2’)
Fermanagh Juniors will contest the Vase 3rd/4th place play-off match tomorrow morning, following a semi-final defeat at the hands of a rival Co. Tyrone side. In what was a very even and tightly contested match, with neither goalkeeper having too much to do, Tyrone substitute Adam Young was the difference, slotting home a well-worked first goal, just after half time. A Young free-kick in injury time sealed the win for Richard Clarke’s side, who will face tournament regulars Cherry Orchard in the Vase final tomorrow morning.
Denzil McDaniel’s team began the match with the same outfield 10 that finished Wednesday’s incredible fightback against Swindon Town, with goalkeeper Jamie Morrow coming in to make his first appearance of the tournament.
The first half was a fairly even contest, with both side having chances to break the deadlock. Fermanagh’s Eimhin Curran was the first to see sight of goal, seeing an early effort hit the side netting of Neil Kilpatrick’s goal. Jamie Marlin had the first chance of note for Tyrone; receiving the ball from a corner kick, only to see his attempt go over the bar.
It was a typical derby encounter, with both teams putting in a few tasty challenges. Marito Marcol for Tyrone was a real class act in midfield, showing a great range of passing and ability to read the game. Conor Love was once again providing the main threat for Fermanagh down the right hand side.
Tyrone’s Jordan O’Doherty had a good chance for Tyrone, latching onto the end of a free-kick at the back post, but he could only manage to poke his effort wide. Sean Murray also had a good chance for Fermanagh earlier in the half. Following good work from Wayne Nicholl, Murray flashed a back-heeled effort just across the face of Kilpatrick’s goal.
Both Kilpatrick and Morrow were able to snuff out any danger from balls into the box, or any half chances created. Both Love and Marlin had efforts on target, but neither goalkeeper was really tested until later in the half. Tyrone’s Feargal McGarrity had a go from distance and saw his shot take a wicked deflection of Fermanagh’s Josh Largo-Ellis, which forced Morrow to get down low and make a smart save.
The second half was an equally tight affair. Fermanagh had a couple of early opportunities, Darragh McBrien curled an effort just wide and Sean Murray saw his strike go just off-target, before Tyrone took the lead on the 36th minute. Sam Robb caught Fermanagh in possession in the final third and was able to shrug off any defensive pressure, before playing the ball across to Adam Young, who side-stepped Morrow and tapped home to open the scoring.
Fermanagh responded well with attempts from Curran and Love and Mark Monaghan hit a shot over the bar for Tyrone. A number of stoppages in the game meant that it struggled to get into any pattern or rhythm, with both sides recycling possession.
Another substitute almost doubled Tyrone’s advantage. Finn Grimes cut from the left onto his right side and had a shot from outside the area that was well saved by Morrow.
Injury time approached and it was Tyrone that clinched their place in the final. Grimes was brought down on the edge of the area and Adam Young stepped up with his left foot that curled beyond the wall and the grasp of Morrow, to seal the victory in the 62nd minute, much to the delight of the Tyrone players and management.