Tyrone moved a step closer to completing the consecutive nap hand of McKenna Cup title when they booked their place in the final, but they didn’t get things all their own way against dogged Fermanagh at St.Tiernachs Park in Clones.
For over forty minutes in the clash between the only two unbeaten sides, Peter McGrath’s charges certainly gave as good as they got.
With Eoin Donnelly dominating in midfield, Fermanagh had the better of things in the first half. But Tyrone somehow still found themselves level at the break after a first half in which they kicked seven wides.
The introduction of big hitters Sean Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly and Ronan McNamee a certainly had the desired affect but seven minutes into the second period the Erne men were also dealt a major blow.
They lost Donnelly to a second booking and any chance that they had of upsetting the odds thus came to an end. To their credit, they played to the final whistle but, apart from Sean Quigley, they lacked a real cutting edge up front.
With the slight wind at their backs then Tyrone moved up through the gears and, when Connor McAliskey swooped for the only goal in the 51st minute, it was effectively game over.
Once again manager Mickey Harte will have been pleased with the performances of some newcomers within the squad, while Colm Cavanagh turned in a man of the match display in his first appearance of 2016.
It all means yet another meeting with championship opponents Derry on Saturday evening in the decider at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.