Tyrone 0-14 Derry 1-08
Mickey Harte had good reason to be beaming following his side’s progress into the Dr McKenna Cup final at Derry’s expense yesterday.
Their arrival in next Saturday’s final against Armagh gives Harte’s restructured side the extra game he craved in advance of the League opener against Kerry. It also offers the possibility of a reunion with a trophy that the Red Hands had held for six years prior to being dispossessed by Donegal last year.
It was the fusion of skills provided by Peter Harte and emerging star Darragh Canavan that combined to usher Tyrone into the final after an unconvincing first-half performance.
“We knew Derry would make it tough for us and we were fortunate in that we were able to bring on that little bit of quality at half-time which helped to get us over the line,” said manager Harte.
If Canavan’s lightning thrusts unsettled the Derry defence after the sides had been deadlocked at 0-6 each at the break, then it was Peter Harte’s cultured passing, clever use of space and unerring accuracy that saw him run the show after the interval.
His five-point haul, including four scores from frees, proved crucial.
Christopher Bradley had scooped three points for Derry in the first-half and looked to be on the way to the man-of-the-match accolade, but when the ’other’ Canavan took a hand in the proceedings, there was only going to be one outcome.
Derry manager Damian McErlain had no problem with the outcome and insisted that his side is far from the finished article. He said: “I cannot emphasise strongly enough that we have lots more work to do.”
SCORERS – Tyrone: P Harte 0-5 (4f), K Coney 0-2, R O’Neill 0-2 (1f), R Sludden 0-2 (1f), D Canavan 0-1, C McCann 0-1, B McDonnell 0-1; Derry: C Bradley 0-4 (3f, 1 ‘45’), P Coney 1-0, S McGuigan 0-2 (1f), E Lynn 0-2.
Tyrone – B Gallen; A McCrory, H P McGeary, M McKernan; B McDonnell, R Brennan, M Cassidy; D McClure, B Kennedy; C McCann, K Coney, C McShane; L Brennan, R O’Neill, R Sludden. Subs: L Rafferty for McCrory, P Harte for O’Neill, D Canavan for L Brennan (all half-time), D McCurry for Sludden (49), F Burns for Cassidy (70). Yellow cards: McCrory (29), McClure (37), Coney (65).
Derry – T Mallon; E Concannon, C Mulholland, S Quinn; P Coney, K McKaigue, J Rocks: C McKaigue, C McFaul; R Dougan, J Doherty, P Cassidy; C Bradley, S McGuigan, E Lynn. Subs: C McAtamney for Doherty (46), N Toner for Bradley (56), G McKinless for Dougan (56), D Hughes for Mulholland (62). Yellow cards: Rocks (29).
Referee – Ciaran Branagan (Down).
Declan Bonner appears to have left Mark McHugh, Stephen McBrearty and Darach O’Connor out of the Donegal squad, which lost to Armagh in yesterday’s Dr McKenna Cup semi-final in Omagh.
The new football playing rules typify the sheer incompetence of the central GAA. The centrepiece of the package is the three handpass rule, which has been trialled already . . . in the 1989 National League. A disaster then, it was quickly abandoned. In 1989, the game was played man to man. The first instinct of players was to kick the ball. When Tony Scullion won possession in the full-back area, I needed get my sorry ass up that right wing asap. In 1989, kicking was king. Yet the hand-pass experiment was a complete flop, with players and spectators hating it.