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Canavan calls all the shots as Tyrone seal Ulster crown in style

Tyrone 4-13 Derry 1-10

Key man: Tyrone’s Darragh Canavan (right)
Key man: Tyrone’s Darragh Canavan (right)
John Campbell

By John Campbell

It was simply all too easy for Tyrone in this painfully one-sided Ulster Under-20 Football Championship showpiece final at the Athletic Grounds, Armagh last night.

Holders Derry meekly surrendered their title in front of 5,743 spectators, many of whom had drifted away from the ground long before the final whistle sounded.

Tyrone's teamwork, slick cohesion when in possession and their ability to maximise their scoring chances put them on a different plateau to their opponents.

And the strength on their bench was manifest as the team simply strolled through the second half of the decider, leaving Derry floundering in their slipstream.

The Oak Leafs' early surge proved something of a false dawn, although when Tiarnan McHugh flashed the ball to the Red Hand net in the 14th minute to complement a triple points bonanza from Mark McGrogan, the signs were very encouraging indeed.

But with the enterprising and elusive Darragh Canavan pulling the strings in the Tyrone attack, Derry's vibrancy was quickly deflated.

After Sean Og McAleer and Tiarnan Quinn lofted over points, the Red Hands tightened their grip to such an extent that between the 16th and 26th minutes they scored 1-6 without eliciting any response from their opponents.

Quinn, Canavan and McAleer led the onslaught as the Oak Leaf defence was breached almost at will, their resistance crumbling in the face of the Red Hands' versatility.

After Canavan had added a further point, James Garrity then drilled home a penalty when Conall Grimes was upended but things were about to get much worse for the floundering Oak Leaf side.

Just on the stroke of half-time, McAleer tucked away his team's second goal to give them a 2-9 to 1-6 interval lead and the second half was barely up and running before the Red Hands had streaked over the horizon with further goals from Joe Oguz and Conor Quinn.

Tyrone, now brimming with confidence and poise, simply moved down a gear as Derry wilted, their morale shattered and their game plan in tatters after a devastatingly clinical demolition job.

Tyrone: L Quinn 0-2 (2 '45's); A Clarke, C Quinn 1-0, P Mullan; C Grimes 0-1, A Fox, C Devlin; R Gormley, J Oguz 1-0; P Og McCartan, D Canavan 0-2, M McKearney; J Garrity 1-0 (pen), S Og McAleer 1-3, T Quinn 0-3 (2f).

Subs: D McGuigan for Grimes (37), M Conroy 0-2 for Quinn (44), E Jordan for McCartan (44), C Goodwin for C Devlin (52), O Mallon for Canavan (54), R Jones for Garrity (BC 55).

Derry: O Hartin; O McGill, C McCluskey, S McKeever; D Cassidy, P McGrogan, C McShane 0-1; D Rafferty, K Friel; F Bradley, T McHugh 1-0, S McErlain; B McCarron 0-2, M McGrogan 0-6 (4f), P Cassidy 0-1.

Subs: A Doherty for P Cassidy (13), O McWilliams for Friel (33), M O'Neill for McGill (half-time), E Doherty for McCarron (40), J McAtamney for McHugh (52), J Diamond for O'Neill (55).

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down).

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