Monday 20 November 2017

Tyrone continue McKenna Cup domination in extra-time thriller

Tyrone 1-22 Derry 1-17

Tyrone joint captains Mattie Donnelly and Sean Cavanagh celebrate with the Dr McKenna cup.
Tyrone joint captains Mattie Donnelly and Sean Cavanagh celebrate with the Dr McKenna cup.

Francis Mooney

Tyrone fought back win a fifth successive Dr McKenna Cup title in an extra-time thriller at the Athletic Grounds last night.

Three points behind and two men down with just over a minute of normal time played, they dug deep for a dramatic leveller, before seeing off old foes Derry in a feisty and bad-tempered that flared up on several occasions.

It was Darren McCurry who rescued the holders, before Conor Meylers explosive contribution steered the holders over the line in an epic, with McCurry sealing it with a late penalty goal.

It took Derry 20 minutes to figure out how to exploit a packed Tyrone defence, and they went 21 minutes without a score, until James Kielt clipped over his second point.

In the 30th minute they were awarded a penalty after Ronan McNamee had dragged down O’Boyle, and Ryan Bell, who had already converted four spot kicks in the competition stepped up. This time he was denied by Niall Morgan, but netted from the rebound.

Tyrone went 23 minutes without scoring, before Ronan O’Neill darted through for a point, but they trailed by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break.

Tyrone lost two men in the 54th minute, Cathal McCarron to a straight red and Ronan McNamee in a second booking, while Derry’s Daniel McKinless also departed on a second yellow.

But they came roaring back in the final moments, with Meyler hitting two more, before McCurry levelled from a free in the sixth minute of stoppage time, 0-15 to 1-12.

Conor Meyler ran fearlessly at the Derry defence, and it was McCurry who netted the late penalty that clinched it for the holders.

Tyrone scorers: D McCurry 1-3 (1-0 pen 0-2f), L Brennan 0-4 (2f), C McAliskey (3f), C McShane, C Meyler, 0-3 each, N Sludden, (1f) 0-2, HP McGeary, T McCann, R O’Neill, J Munroe 0-1 each.

Derry scorers: R Bell 1-1 (0-1f), E Lynn, J Kielt (2f) 0-3 each, C Kearns, E Bradley 0-2 each, C Bradley, O Duffy, N Forrester, C O’Boyle (f), G McWilliams (f), C McAtamney 0-1 each.

Tyrone: N Morgan, C McCarron, R McNamee, HP McGeary, T McCann, J McMahon, B Tierney, C Cavanagh, C Clarke, H Og Conlan, M Donnelly, C McShane, L Brennan, R O’Neill, P Quinn.

Subs: P McNulty for Clarke (h-t), C McAliskey for Quinn (h-t), C Meyler for Conlan (h-t), D McCurry for O’Neill (46), N Sludden for McMahon (50), J Munroe for McShane (70), K McGeary (71), C McCann (71), C Hampsey for Tierney (72) McShane for HP McGeary (75)

Derry: T Mallon, M Craig C Mullan, K McKaigue, G McKinless, C McKaigue, D Heavron, B Rogers, E Bradley, E Lynn, J Kielt, B Heron, S Heavron, C O’Boyle, R Bell.

Subs: C McAtamney  for Rogers (1), C Bradley for S Heavron (31), O Duffy for Craig (40), C Kearns for Heron (49), D McKinless for Bell (52), N Forrester for G McKinless (58), G McKinless (71), G McWilliams for Kielt (78), P Quinn for D Heavron (81), S Mulgrew for Kearns (82)

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).

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