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Familiar names make the difference for Tyrone as Harte and Canavan seal McKenna Cup final spot

Tyrone 0-14 Derry 1-08


Darragh Canavan of Tyrone in action against Eoghan Concannon of Derry. Photo: Sportsfile

Darragh Canavan of Tyrone in action against Eoghan Concannon of Derry. Photo: Sportsfile


Darragh Canavan of Tyrone in action against Eoghan Concannon of Derry. Photo: Sportsfile

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).

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