Tyrone breezed into the quarter-final of the Ulster minor championship thanks to a comprehensive win over Down at Healy Park yesterday.
The home side dominated proceedings all the way although the win could have come at a cost with two key players picking up injuries.
Team captain Conor McKenna and top scorer Lee Brennan both had to come off and manager Mickey Donnelly is hoping both will be okay as they are back in action again next Sunday when they take on holders Monaghan in a repeat of last season’s final.
“Conor McKenna went over on his ankle while Lee Brennan picked up a groin injury and with the Monaghan game coming so quick they have little time to recover. It’s not an ideal situation for us but we just have to get on with it,” said Donnelly.
“I was happy with the way that we played at times with the most pleasing fact being that there were so many different players on the scoresheet.”
Ronan Nugent and Macauley Quinn controlled midfield for the winners with Enda McGarrity, Pauric McAnenly and Lee Brennan others who played well.
Ten players featured on the scoresheet for Tyrone including two substitutes and the visitors simply had no answer to the attacking flair of the hosts who took some quality scores throughout the sixty minutes.
McKenna opened the scoring from a third minute free and while Down responded moments later with an effort from play from full forward Ryan Treanor that was as good as it got for them.
Brennan knocked over a free with Pauric McAnenly, James Darcy, Ronan Nugent and Fintan McClure all weighing in with points from play to leave it 0-8 to 0-1 with only seventeen minutes played.
Down defender Killian McEvoy converted a free but Tyrone continued to dominate with McAnenly pointing before a 30th minute goal.
A shot from Nugent came back of the post and there was McClure to win the rebound and give keeper Marc Reid no chance with an expert finish. McKenna and Brennan added points to leave them well in control at halftime, 1-11 to 0-3.
Macauley Quinn opened the second half scoring and there was no let up from Tyrone with half back Enda McGarrity charging forward twice in as many minutes to slot over. Treanor responded with a point for Down and moments later the same player won a penalty which substitute Tiarnan Rushe converted.
Treanor then pointed again but any hopes of a revival were soon extinguished.
Quinn fired over with the outside of his boot and after Conal McLernon had converted a free another substitute, Jonah Lafferty, pointed from play.
Down centre half forward James Guinness drilled over in injury time and right at the end substitute Stephen McConville scored a goal after a shot from Treanor had come back off the post.
But by that stage Tyrone were already looking forward to a last eight clash with Monaghan.