Dr McKenna Cup wrap: Tyrone edge Armagh in six goal thriller

Donegal prove too strong for Derry as Down book semi-final spot with win over Antrim

Donegal’s Michael Langan in action against Derry. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Donegal’s Michael Langan in action against Derry. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

 

Dr McKenna Cup holders Tyrone set up a semi-final date with Down following their narrow victory over Armagh in an Athletic Grounds thriller on Wednesday night.

Ronan O’Neill’s double helped Tyrone to a 2-8 to 1-7 lead, with Rian O’Neill’s Armagh goal coming direct from a 45 metre free.

Niall Sludden added a third Red Hand goal, but the home side roared back again with Stefan Campbell netting a penalty, before Rory Grugan fired in their third late on.

But two late points from substitute Darren McCurry sealed Tyrone’s place in the last four, and sent Kieran McGeeney’s men crashing out.

Down’s footballers secured their place in the last four with a deserved eight-point victory over Antrim at Páirc Esler.

Their first goal came on 21 minutes when Barry O’Hagan drilled home, and on 35 minutes the impressive Corey Quinn found the net after his first effort was well blocked by James McAuley.

Trailing 2-8 to 0-7 at the break, Antrim pegged the deficit back to four on 52 minutes but a run of late scores from Down substitutes Liam Kerr, Donal Hughes, Conor Maginn and Daniel Guinness saw Down comfortably into the knockout stages.

Meanwhile Donegal topped Section A and qualified for a semi-final meeting with Monaghan after a five point win over Derry at Celtic Park.

The first half in this contest was one to forget. Donegal ran in 0-4 to 0-2 up, but like their opponents, offered very little spark in attack. Michael Langan opened the scoring with a free after three minutes, which Ryan Bell soon replied to from play. Donegal’s Paedar Mogan would hit two points before the break, sandwiching a huge Emmett Bradley score.

Caolan Ward’s 56th minute goal was the key score of the second half as Donegal cruised to a comfortable win.

Wednesday’s McKenna Cup results:

Armagh 3-15 Tyrone 3-18

Down 2-17 Antrim 0-15

Derry 0-8 Donegal 1-10

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