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Darragh takes leaf out of his famous dad Peter's book

 

By John Campbell

Joe Brolly is perhaps more renowned for dishing out brickbats rather than conferring praise. But at the start of the summer when he hailed Peter Canavan's son Darragh as being "a bit special" he certainly was on the money.

In the intervening period, the younger Canavan has woven his own particular brand of magic in Tyrone's colours to such an extent that he has just become the latest winner of the Quinn Building Products Ulster GAA Writers' Association monthly merit award.

It was a stunning performance in the All-Ireland U17 Championship final against Roscommon that saw the St Ciaran's College, Ballygawley student hit the high spots in Croke Park, just as his famous father did on so many occasions for the Red Hands during his distinguished career.

Tyrone beat their Connacht opponents by 2-18 to 0-15 with Canavan not only helping himself to a raft of scores, including a stunning goal, but providing the assists for several others in a majestic individual display of flair and scoring power.

"It was brilliant to win the All-Ireland final and now it's a real bonus to have been adjudged the winner of the writers' trophy," says Darragh.

"It's a trophy I will certainly treasure. It was just great to be part of a successful Tyrone side and I have to say that there were a number of players who would have been equally worthy of the trophy."

Tyrone have certainly broken valuable ground as the curtain has already come down on the minor championship as we know it and it will be replaced by the Under-17 Championship from next year.

To win the award, Canavan Jnr had to beat off a strong challenge from Lorcan McWilliams, who starred with Derry's minors in their All-Ireland semi-final defeat of Dublin, and Fermanagh teen Eimear Smyth, who netted four goals plus seven points against Antrim in the Ulster LJFC final.

Darragh received his Merit Award from former winner and ex-Fermanagh star Marty McGrath, the Quinn Building Products North Tyrone & Derry regional manager.

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