Mullan bags decisive goal as Derry edge to title success
McKenna Cup (Sf) final
Derry rediscovered that winning feeling, but they must have felt they had to win this one twice.
Eight points ahead at the halfway stage, they had one hand on the cup, but after falling behind to a resurgent Tyrone, they had to do it all over again.
Corner-back Ciaran Mullan was the unlikely scorer of the decisive goal as the Oak Leafers lifted the title for the first time in 12 years.
"I'm just so proud of the players. I'm glad for them, they deserved that," said Derry boss John Brennan. "Goals win matches, and we came back, against the run of play slightly, and we got our goal."
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte took some consolation from his side's second-half display. "Fifteen minutes at the start of that second half was as good as I've seen Tyrone play in a long, long time," he said.
Derry led 1-7 to 0-2 at the break, Enda Muldoon with the goal, but Tyrone came out for the second half with serious intent. Sean Cavanagh fired home a goal from a tight angle, and a couple of Martin Penrose points had them level.
Cavanagh shot Tyrone ahead for the first time from a free, but Derry grabbed a second goal through Mullan. The Bradley brothers, Paddy and Eoin, added points to get them back in front, but Stephen O'Neill pulled a goal back for Tyrone. However, the Oak Leafers held out for a narrow win.
Scorers -- Derry: E Muldoon 1-2 (1f), C Mullan 1-1, P Bradley 0-6 (5f), E Bradley, SL McGoldrick, M Donaghy 0-1 each. Tyrone: S Cavanagh 1-5 (4f), S O'Neill 1-0, M Penrose 0-4 (2f), O Mulligan 0-2.
Derry -- D Devlin; C Mullan, K McCloy, D McBride; B McCallion, A McAlynn, G O'Kane; PJ McCloskey, J Conway; M Donaghy, SL McGoldrick, E Bradley; C McGoldrick, P Bradley, E Muldoon. Subs: B McGuigan for McCallion (4), M Drumm for McGuigan (55), C McGoldrick for Conway (58), B McAlarey for Drumm, D Mullan for C McGoldrick.
Tyrone -- P McConnell; A McCrory, D McCaul, PJ Quinn; C McCarron, R McMenamin, M Swift; C Gormley, A Cassidy; K Hughes, B McGuigan, S Cavanagh; O Mulligan, M Penrose, M Donnelly. Subs: D Harte for Quinn (25), Justin McMahon for McCrory (h-t), S O'Neill for Donnelly (56), Joe McMahon for McCarron (64).
Ref -- J Whyte (Donegal).