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McKenna Cup: Tyrone to face Derry in decider

Cavan 0-14 Tyrone 2-11: Tyrone edged a tight encounter against Cavan at Brewster Park last night to secure their place in the Dr McKenna Cup final against Derry on Saturday.

Two goals in a four minute spell early in the second half helped turn the tide for Mickey Harte’s side after they had fallen five points adrift and although Cavan battled hard for the remainder of the game, Tyrone were able to see it out for the win.

Cavan enjoyed a great first half and by the end of it they held a four point lead, 0-10 to 0-06.

Seanie Johnston was in fine form, landing six first half points four of which came from frees, although it was Tyrone who made the more positive start with three early unanswered points from midfielder Aidan Cassidy and Martin Penrose (2).

Tyrone led 0-04 to 0-02 by the 12th minute but, with Ronan Flanagan an influential figure, Cavan began to take control and they fired over six points in a row for a four point lead.

Johnston notched three during this period while Flanagan, Ger Pierson and Ray Cullivan also contributed scores as Mickey Harte called on experienced Stephen O’Neill and Ryan McMenamin to inspire his side.

Cavan goalkeeper James Reilly twice pulled off super saves to deny both Brian McGuigan and Penrose, Cavan then remaining in control to the break.

That lead was increased to five on the restart as Pierson kicked an excellent point but then came Tyrone’s double goal blast.

Penrose slotted a penalty to the net after Mark Donnelly was fouled by Stephen Jordan — an incident that saw the Cavan player dismissed for a second yellow card — and then O’Neill burst through the Cavan defence to set up Patrick McNeice to net the Red Hands’ second goal.

With Cavanagh and O’Neill firing over points, Tyrone took control and although Cavan responded to leave just two points between the teams with five minutes to go, O’Neill rattled over two late points to make sure of victory — and a place in the final on Saturday, a venue for which will be announced today — for Mickey Harte’s side.

CAVAN: J. Reilly; A. Clarke, P. Carroll, S. Jordan; M. McKeever, J. McCutcheon, D. O'Reilly; R. Cullivan (0-02), P. O'Reilly; K. Fannin (0-01), N. Murray, R. Flanagan (0-02, 1f); S. Johnston (0-08, 6f), G. Pierson (0-02), B. Fitzpatrick.Subs: E. McGuigan for Cullivan (blood sub), O. Minagh for Clarke, B. Reilly for Murray, Cullivan for McGuigan, D. Sheridan for Fitzpatrick, M. Cahill for Pierson.

TYRONE: J. Curran; A. McCrory, D. McCaul, PJ Quinn; R. McNabb, D. Carlin, S. McNally; K. Hughes (0-01), A. Cassidy (0-01); S. Cavanagh (0-01), B. McGuigan (0-01), P. McNeice (1-00); C. Girvan, M. Penrose (1-04, 1-0 pen, 3f), M. Donnelly. Subs : S. O’Neill (0-03, 2f) for Girvan, R. McMenamin for McNabb, M. Swift for McNally, C. McCarron for McCaul, C. Gormley for Cassidy.

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