Brian Dooher points to progress made after Tyrone take down Armagh

Visitors outscore Armagh 1-5 to two points in the final quarter at the Athletic Grounds

Armagh 2-10 Tyrone 2-15

Tyrone joint-manager Brian Dooher drilled right down on what they expected of themselves in picking up their first win, a character-forming battle over neighbours Armagh on Saturday night by singling out a holy trinity.

Last week, former captain Matthew Donnelly, former vice-captain Peter Harte, and the exciting Darragh Canavan didn't get a chance to impose themselves on Donegal.

They took it out on Armagh here, Canavan combining with brother-in-law Harte for his blistering roof of the net goal in the first half, setting up Mark Bradley for the second major in the second, while Donnelly looked more like his old self in the new position of centre back.


“Whenever we needed men to stand up there today, Petey stood up, Mattie stood up. Darragh Canavan I thought was . . . the amount of times Darragh got on the ball in places where you wouldn’t expect him and done the right thing every time. There are good things, and things to work on,” said Dooher.

Canavan was like an artful dodger here, cleaning out people’s inside pockets of wallets, robbing them of the ball without hardly laying a finger on them. He forced at least five turnovers without having to brace himself and take a thump. What any team would give for forwards like that.

And yet he did not score. Nor for that matter did the other men named on the inside line in Conor McKenna – who did spearhead the attack but got his hands on so little ball it was amazing he remained on, and Kieran McGeary who was withdrawn at the break.

Logan and Dooher are toying with the alchemy. It’s interesting to see what a tincture here and there does.

This win now leaves Tyrone in the same situation as every other team in Division One North, with everything to play for in the final weekend.

“This Division is typical Ulster football,” he stated. “There’s never much more than a point between the teams. That was a good one for us to get going playing football and Armagh will take their good points from it as well.

“We will take a lot of learning and it will help our fitness. We are only going from four weeks. To expect those boys to be playing champagne football or Championship football is hard.

The ground is hard, the ball is moving fast and they are just getting used to it, adapting to it.”

Armagh will rue a missed penalty from Stefan Campbell, saved by Niall Morgan just two minutes after they got a goal from Conor Turbitt. Tyrone then responded by hitting 1-5 to Armagh's 0-2 in response for the rest of the game.

There was time for a minor complaint from Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney, who was denied the chance to bring on his final sub, as all the replacements have to be made in five windows.

“We wanted a change, but you are not allowed to,” he said. “You are allowed seven subs but not to use them. It’s five windows, it is hard to comprehend that. I’d love to know, ‘these managers, they are all wasting time’. It is ridiculous stuff, very frustrating.

“So you have to do some in twos, so if we made them in three singles as we did, you were told you have to do the rest of your subs in the next two windows. You have to be able to see into the future, to see if some people might have to move out. Like, it’s ludicrous.”

ARMAGH: 1 B Hughes; 2 R Kennedy, 3 A Forker, 4 J Morgan; 5 C Mackin, 6 A McKay, 7 C O'Hanlon; 8 N Grimley, 9 J Óg Burns (1-0); 10 J Hall (0-1), 11 R O'Neill (0-1), 12 G McCabe; 13 R Grugan (0-5, three frees), 14 O O'Neill (0-1), 15 S Campbell (0-1).

Subs: 19 B McCambidge for Kennedy (10 mins), 20 R McQuillan for Morgan (18), 18 P Hughes for Hall (21), 23 P Burns for Forker, 24 C Turbitt (1-0) for McCabe (both 34), 26 J Duffy (0-1) for Campbell (55).

TYRONE: 1 N Morgan; 2 C Munroe, 3 R McNamee, 4 P Hampsey; 5 M O'Neill, 6 M Donnelly (0-1), 7 P Harte (1-1); 8 F Burns, 9 D McClure; 10 P Donaghy (0-4, two frees, one mark), 11 D McCurry (0-7, four frees), 12 C Meyler (0-1); 13 K McGeary, 14 C McKenna, 15 D Canavan.

Subs: 17 R Brennan for O'Neill, 19 M Cassidy for McClure (both 35 mins), 26 N Sludden for McGeary (h-t), 18 M Bradley (1-1, one free) for Donaghy (50), 24 L Rafferty for Canavan (60), 22 M McKernan for Munroe (62)

Referee: David Gough (Meath).