Tyrone players Ronan Donnelly and Matthew Mallon celebrate.
Tyrone players Ronan Donnelly and Matthew Mallon celebrate.

Electric Ireland MFC SF: Terrific Tyrone advance


Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football championship semi-final

TYRONE 0-23 CORK 1-6

By Paul Keane at Bord na Mona O'Connor Park, Tullamore

A performance full of pace and power, lit up by the scoring ability of Eoin McElholm, secured victory for Tyrone in Tullamore and their first Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football final place since 2013.

McElholm struck five points from play at Bord na Mona O'Connor Park while free-taker Ronan Cassidy matched that tally with substitute Conor Owens weighing in with four second-half scores.

That impressive cameo from Owens, who struck 1-1 as a sub in the Ulster final win over Donegal, has left him in the shake up for a potential starting spot against Meath in next weekend's All-Ireland final.

Tyrone will shoot for a first title since 2010 on that occasion and will be buoyed by this dominant display.

In truth, they should have won by more than 14 points with Cork goalkeeper Daniel Walsh denying Tyrone goals on five separate occasions with excellent saves.

One of those saves came from Shea O'Hare's 20th minute penalty kick following a foul by Shane O'Connell on Gavin Potter. Cork cleared their lines well and won a free themselves moments later that resulted in a point for Hugh O'Connor, leaving Tyrone just 0-6 to 0-3 ahead when it could have easily been a seven-point gap.

Cork were unable to build on their momentum at that stage, however, and four Tyrone points in a row before the interval from Ruairi McHugh, Hugh Cunningham, Ronan Strain and Cassidy left Ger Donnelly's side 0-10 to 0-3 ahead.

In truth, Tyrone's scores came much easier with Cormac Devlin, McElholm and Strain all striking impressive points too.

Cork unloaded their bench and brought on two substitutes at half-time along with two more in the 40th minute. Those changes added some punch to their attack in particular and Dylan Crowley sniped 1-1 for the Rebels after his introduction. Alan Kelleher also came on for Cork and pinched a late point but it was all mere consolation at that stage.

Tyrone were in full control throughout and hit eight points without reply in a burst of scoring either side of the second water break to put the result beyond doubt.

In all, subs contributed 0-7 for Tyrone with Jack Martin nailing three points after his introduction, leaving Donnelly with a difficult task to select his team to face Meath.

Scorers for Tyrone: Ronan Cassidy 0-5 (0-3f), Eoin McElholm 0-5, Conor Owens 0-4 (0-3f), Jack Martin 0-3, Ronan Strain 0-2, Hugh Cunningham 0-2 (0-2f), Cormac Devlin 0-1, Ruairi McHugh 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: Dylan Crowley 1-1, Hugh O'Connor 0-4 (0-3f), Alan Kelleher 0-1.

TYRONE: Niall Robinson; Michael Rafferty, Callan Kelly, Matthew Mallon; Hugh Cunnningham, Ronan Fox, Shea O'Hare; Ronan Donnelly, Ruairi McHugh; Ronan Strain, Paddy McCann, Gavin Potter; Ronan Cassidy, Cormac Devlin, Eoin McElholm.

Subs: Conor Owens for McCann h/t, Noah Grimes for Potter 52, Brian Hampsey for Fox 54, Ben Hughes for O'Hare 56, Jack Martin for Strain 58.

CORK: Daniel Walsh; Dan Twomey, Shane O'Connell, Patrick O'Grady; Sam Copps, Conor Twomey, Darragh O'Brien; Michael McSweeney, Rory O'Shaughnessy; Jack O'Neill, Niall Kelly, Colm Gillespie; Luke O'Herlihy, Jamie O'Driscoll, Hugh O'Connor.

Subs: Fionn Crowley for McSweeney h/t, Jack Cunningham for Kelly h/t, Olan Corcoran for O'Herlihy 40, Dylan Crowley for Gillespie 40, Alan Kelleher for O'Brien 53.

Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin).