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Tyrone and holders Derry to square up in Under-20 showpiece

 

Hot stuff: Tyrone Under-20 ace Darragh Canavan pointed the way during his side’s victory over Cavan
Hot stuff: Tyrone Under-20 ace Darragh Canavan pointed the way during his side’s victory over Cavan
Dara Rafferty

By Kevin Kelly

Next Sunday's Ulster Under-20 football final will be between Tyrone and holders Derry after both negotiated tricky games over the weekend.

Tyrone were up against Cavan in Clones on Saturday and they came through on a 0-13 to 0-9 scoreline in a game were they led from start to finish.

The lively Darragh Canavan opened the scoring with a superb point and after Liam Gray and Sean Og McAleer had added to the lead Canavan split the posts again with another fine effort.

It took Cavan 24 minutes to open their account when their top scorer Patrick Lynch pointed but it was Tyrone who greeted the short whistle 0-6 to 0-2 in front after further scores from team Captain Ruairi Gormley and McAleer, Philip Rogers with Cavan's second point.

Two Lynch frees coupled with a Cormac O'Reilly effort from play helped Cavan to close the gap to two on the restart, Canavan responding for the Red Hands with his third of the contest.

Cavan though were never able to close the gap any further as Tyrone managed to keep them at arms length. Ethan Jordan and Canavan both scored to leave four between the sides and it took a good save from keeper Gary O'Rourke to deny Tyrone substitute Michael Conroy a goal.

Cian Madden and Lynch had scores for Cavan but Conroy and fellow replacement Peter Og McCartan both hit a brace for the winners as they secured their place in the decider.

Twenty four hours earlier Derry held off a spirited Fermanagh side in Omagh to advance to the final on a 1-14 to 1-11 scoreline.

Fermanagh gave as good as they got throughout and were leading early on thanks to a couple of frees from the boot of Darragh McGurn.

Lorcan McWilliams replied for Derry and after Paul Cassidy had scored McWilliams landed another brace.

Fermanagh keeper Cian Newman made a number of fine saves and defender Josh Largo Ellis got forward to take a point for the Erne lads. Conleth McShane had the final say of the first half to give Derry a slender 0-7 to 0-6 lead.

Derry were out of the traps quickly in the second half with Dara Rafferty striking for a goal but Fermanagh wasted no time in responding in kind through Cameron McBrien when he got on the end of a McGurn free to punch to the net.

Fintan Bradley converted a Derry '45' after keeper Newman had thwarted Alex Doherty before a McGurn free kept Fermanagh in touch.

The Oak Leafs, however, just did enough to hold off some late Fermanagh pressure to advance to the decider..

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