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Ulster U21 Championship: Cavan see off Tyrone to grasp title

Cavan 1-10 Tyrone 0-10: Cavan lifted their third Ulster Under-21 championship title and their first in 15 years when they secured a deserved three point win over Tyrone at Brewster Park Enniskillen last night.

Celebration time: Cavan’s heroes enjoy their Ulster under-21 triumph over Tyrone last nightGAA

ULSTER UNDER-21 FOOTBALL FINAL

The game got off to an unbelievable start when Cavan midfielder Fergal Flanagan was fouled from the throw in, he sent the resulting free long and when the ball broke Niall Murray got on the end of it to run through and bury the ball into the net past Tyrone keeper Niall Morgan after only 12 seconds.

Tyrone recovered well from that setback and by the sixth minute they had reduced the deficit to the minimum thanks to points from Mattie Donnelly and Ronan O’Neill.

Cavan responded with a well taken free from out near the right touchline from Barry Reilly with Jack Brady firing over a well taken point from play.

The Red Hands still managed scores from O’Neill and team captain Peter Harte to keep them well in contention.

Tyrone failed to score in the second quarter though as the Breffni County had the better of things with team captain Gearoid McKiernan a huge influence in midfield. Brady knocked over a free before McKiernan burst through for a superb score.

The woodwork denied O’Neill while the Omagh player missed a good goal chance when he blazed wide after a fine move involving Kyle Coney, Niall Sludden and Richard Donnelly.

McKiernan then took a pass from centre half back Damian Barkey to power through for another score as Cavan deservedly led 1-5 to 0-4 at the short whistle.

Tyrone came out for the second half with all guns blazing and within two minutes they had halved the deficit thanks to efforts from Niall McKenna and O’Neill. Cavan though hit back with Barry Reilly and Brady both converting frees.

The Red Hands were determined not to leave empty handed and with substitute Ciaran Gervin and McKenna both scoring points only two separated the two sides with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Substitute Patrick King landed a crucial point before Brady cut in from the left wing to take his fourth point of the night. Time was against Tyrone but they didn’t throw in the towel and when O’Neill and midfielder Richard Donnelly both scored the contest was still in the melting pot.

Cavan though weren’t going to be denied their moment of glory with King getting another point and right at the end Murray was denied his second goal with a brilliant save from Tyrone keeper Morgan.

The final whistle sounded and Cavan go forward to represent Ulster in the All-Ireland semi-final against Leinster champions Wexford on Saturday evening.

Tyrone: N Morgan; R Pickering, R McNamee, F McQuaid, N Sludden, G Teague, S McKenna, N McKenna [0-2], R Donnelly [0-1], P McNeice, P Harte [0-1], D McNulty, K Coney, M Donnelly [0-1], R O’Neil [0-4]. Subs: C Gervin [0-1] for McGuigan, K Mossey for McNabb, D McNulty for McNeice, J McCullagh for McNulty

Cavan: A O’Mara; M Leddy, O Minagh, D Tighe, K Meehan, D Barkey, M Brady, G McKiernan [0-2], F Flanagan, N Smith, N Murray [1-0], B Reilly [0-2], J Brady [0-4], N McDermott, P Leddy. Subs: T Mooney for Tighe, P King [0-2] for M Leddy, C McClarey for Smith, C Smith for McDermott, D Flanagan for Reilly

Referee: S McLaughlin (Donegal).

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