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Some big scores but best teams made it through to the last four

By Declan Bogue

The most confusing aspect of the Dr McKenna Cup groupings this year was how the tables and qualifying methods were based on a scoring average rather than head to heads.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte freely admitted afterwards that their goal was to outscore the margin that Fermanagh might rack up against Antrim, while few gave Derry a chance of qualifying from their group.

What will alarm those charged with hosting the competition are the extreme scoring margins. The mitigating factors are that a strong team came up against a Donegal under-21 team, and the students of Queen's were always going to be weakened in a dead rubber match away to Derry at Owenbeg in midweek.

However, the performance of Antrim in Brewster Park, a venue that has become a hellish experience for them of late, is bound to send alarm bells ringing with co-managers Frankie Fitzsimons and Gearoid Adams, especially when they went the entire first half scoreless.

Semi-finals

Tyrone v Fermanagh, St Tiernach's Park, Clones, Sunday, 2pm

Derry v Monaghan, Athletic Grounds, Armagh, Sunday, 2pm

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