Saturday 24 March 2018

No bearing on summer clash - Harte

Tyrone 2-15 Derry 0-12

Harte: Two points 'most important thing' Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE
Harte: Two points 'most important thing' Photo: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

Francis Mooney

Tyrone are beginning to look unstoppable in their charge back to the top flight.

A fourth straight win keeps the Red Hands on course for promotion, and the manner of their nine-point demolition of Derry would suggest they will be difficult to halt.

And, worryingly for the Oak Leafers, the gulf that appears to be widening between the sides has ominous implications for their Ulster Championship meeting this summer.

However, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte insisted that this comprehensive success will have no bearing whatsoever on the Anglo-Celt Cup clash.

"It was a big win and two league points, that was the most important thing. It has no bearing on what went before and it will have no bearing on what is coming later," said Harte.

Derry were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead by the 14th minute, after James Kielt, Emmet Bradley, Ciaran McFaul and full-back Chrissy McKaigue had all hit the target.

But Tyrone soon began to capitalise on goalkeeper Eoin McNicholl's difficulties in finding his own players from kick-outs, and Ronan O'Neill knocked over a handful of frees.

After Sean Cavanagh and Peter Harte had added scores, they moved 0-7 to 0-4 ahead.

McNicholl denied Barry Tierney with a fine save, and the visitors trimmed the deficit to a single point through Kielt, but Richie Donnelly and Kieran McGeary both contributed fine points for a 0-10 to 0-6 Tyrone interval lead.

O'Neill couldn't miss from frees, and the dash of Tiernan McCann set up Cavanagh for a brilliant 50th-minute goal.

The introduction of Chrissy Bradley gave Derry some much-needed invention, and he also knocked over a couple of points.

Colm Cavanagh's effectiveness as sweeper was another stumbling block for an ailing Derry side, who had McKaigue sent off on a second booking late on, before Tyrone corner-back Aidan McCrory fired in a rare goal in stoppage-time.

Scorers - Tyrone: S Cavanagh 1-1, A McCrory 1-0, R O'Neill 0-6 (5fs), R Donnelly 0-4, K McGeary 0-2, P Harte, C Meyler 0-1 each. Derry: J Kielt 0-3 (2fs), C Bradley (1f), R Bell (2fs) 0-2 each, D Heavron, C McKaigue, C McFaul, E McGuckin, E Bradley 0-1 each

Tyrone - N Morgan 5, A McCrory 7, R McNamee 6, C McCarron 6, B Tierney 6, R Brennan 5, T McCann 7, C Cavanagh 8, M Donnelly 7, K McGeary 7, P Harte 6, R Donnelly 8, C McAliskey 7, S Cavanagh 7, R O'Neill 7. Subs: C Meyler 6 for Brennan (h-t), J Munroe 5 for Tierney (48), M Bradley 5 for McGeary (48), D McCurry 4 for McAliskey (62), J McMahon 4 for McNamee (65), C McCann 4 for Harte (69)

Derry - E McNicholl 5, O Duffy 6, C McKaigue 7, K McKaigue 6, G McKinless 7, B Rogers 7, M Craig 6, N Holly 7, E Bradley 6, D Heavron 7, C McFaul 6, SL McGoldrick 6, R Bell 5, E McGuckin 5, J Kielt 6. Subs: R Ferris 5 for Craig (30), C Bradley 7 for Bell (44), C McAtamney 5 for E Bradley (52), C O'Boyle 5 for Kielt (55), S Heavron 4 for K McKaigue (59, BC), B Heron 4 for McGuckin (65)

Ref - D Coldrick (Meath)

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