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Cavan can't live with Tyrone power

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Tyrone's Padraig McNulty claims the ball in the air, under pressure from Cavan's Killian Clarke and Damien O'Reilly

Tyrone's Padraig McNulty claims the ball in the air, under pressure from Cavan's Killian Clarke and Damien O'Reilly

SPORTSFILE

Tyrone’s Sean Cavanagh tries to find a way past Killian Clarke during last night’s McKenna Cup final.

Tyrone’s Sean Cavanagh tries to find a way past Killian Clarke during last night’s McKenna Cup final.

SPORTSFILE

Tyrone's Niall McKenna in action against Cavan's Joshua Hayes

Tyrone's Niall McKenna in action against Cavan's Joshua Hayes

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Joe McMahon offloads the ball before being tackled by Cavan's Martin Reilly

Joe McMahon offloads the ball before being tackled by Cavan's Martin Reilly

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Tyrone's Niall McKenna goes to ground after a tackle from Joshua Hayes, Cavan

Tyrone's Niall McKenna goes to ground after a tackle from Joshua Hayes, Cavan

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Tyrone's Padraig McNulty claims the ball in the air, under pressure from Cavan's Killian Clarke and Damien O'Reilly

Tyrone came from behind to win their fourth successive Dr McKenna Cup title at the Athletic Grounds last night.

Cavan appeared to be on their way to causing a shock when they led by four points at the break, but the Red Hands turned on the power in a dramatic turnaround, with Darren McCurry coming off the bench to knock over four points

Remarkably, having scored ten times in the opening half, the Breffni men failed to raise a sing flag after the break as their challenge died.

Cavan's pace and support play had the Tyrone defence under sustained pressure in the first half.

With Damien O'Reilly and Killian Clarke getting on top at midfield, and Ronan Flanagan and Martin Reilly picking up broken possession, they ran at their opponents with a fearless determination.

Martin Dunne was on target twice as they opened up a 0-4 to 0-2 led inside the opening ten minutes, with Sean Cavanagh keeping the Red Hands in touch from frees.

Tyrone could have had a goal when Niall McKenna slipped a ball to Plunkett Kane, but his fisted effort cleared the crossbar.

Terry Hyland's men were able to soak up pressure and break swiftly to cut swathes through the Red Hand rearguard, and four points on the spin, including two more from Dunne and a Niall McDermott gem, had them ahead by double scores 0-8 to 0-4.

The Breffni men now believed they could get in for goals, and almost did, but for a timely Ronan McNabb intercept, and there was another narrow escape when Dunne's cheeky lobbed effort dropped just wide.

Cavan led by 0-10 to 0-6 at the break, and added numbers to their defence as Tyrone, with three half-time substitutes in the action, battled their way back into contention.

Bustling midfielder Padraig McNulty powered over a couple of scores and won the free that Darren McCurry knocked over.

Cavan full back Rory Dunne defended magnificently to halt the charge of Sean Cavanagh, but it was only a matter of time before wind-assisted Tyrone went level, substitute McCurry again the marksmen.

And the Red Hands struck for a 56th minute goal, Niall McKenna picking up a loose ball to slot low to the net.

Now totally dominant, this transformed Tyrone side now looked solid at the back, with Mattie Donnelly now in the action, and they were more competitive at midfield with substitute Colm Cavanagh steadying the ship and rookie McNulty excelling.

Scorers - Tyrone: N McKenna 1-0, D McCurry 0-4 (2f), S Cavanagh 0-3 (3f), P McNulty 0-2, C McCann, N Morgan (f), K Coney (f), P Kane 0-1 each. Cavan: M Dunne 0-4 (1f), N McDermott 0-2, M Lyng, K Clarke, M McKeever, N Murray 0-1 each.

Tyrone: N Morgan, A McCrory, Justin McMahon, C McCarron, R McNabb, Joe McMahon, B Tierney, P McNulty, C McCann, M Donnelly, R O'Neill, P Kane, K Coney, S Cavanagh, N McKenna. Subs: Mattie Donnelly for Joe McMahon (h-t), D McCurry for Coney (h-t), C Cavanagh for Kane (h-t), P Harte for Mark Donnelly (48), R McNamee for McCarron (61), S McGuigan for Harte (67)

Cavan: C Gilsenan, K Brady, R Dunne, J Hayes, N Murray, P Smith, M McKeever, D O'Reilly, K Clarke, M Reilly, M Lyng, D McVeety, R Flanagan, N McDermott, M Dunne. Subs: C Moynagh for Hayes (h-t), J Brady for Lyng (48), E Hessin for Moynagh (54), T Corr for McKeever (58), P Tinnilly for O'Reilly (61)

Referee: R Barry (Down)

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