Tyrone stick to task to reach yet another McKenna Cup final
James Kielt’s late goal proves crucial as underdogs Derry overcome Monaghan
Cathal McCarron in action for Tyrone, being tackled by Declan McCusker of Fermanagh. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho
Tyrone 0-14 Fermanagh 0-11
Holders Tyrone set up a final clash with Derry with a hard-fought win over battling Fermanagh at Clones on Sunday. Darren McCurry top-scored for the second week in a row with six points, while Peter Harte chipped in with four converted frees.
Early scores from Eddie Courtney and Tomas Corrigan had Fermanagh two ahead, but after McCurry notched Tyrone’s 10th-minute opener, they went in front for the first time in the 21st minute with a Harte free.
Frees Corrigan’s third free made it 0-3 to 0-2, but Tyrone conceded just one point in the second quarter, with Harte’s fourth free sending them in with a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead.
A long-range score from McCurry, his third from play, was followed by his second free, but Fermanagh hit back with scores from Paul McCusker and Corrigan. Seán Quigley came on to give the Erne men added thrust in attack, and he sent a 48 metre free sailing between the posts, before Aidan Breen landed a gem from long range, and the deficit was down to three. Substitute Mark Bradley jinked through for a score, and while Quigley and Corrigan both landed frees, Fermanagh were unable to find that killer touch that would have rescued the game.
TYRONE: M O’Neill, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, R McNabb, T McCann, P Harte (0-4, frees), C Cavanagh, P McNulty, D McClure, N Sludden, N McKenna (0-1), D McCurry (0-6, three frees), C McShane (0-1), L Brennan (0-1).
Subs: S Cavanagh for C Cavanagh (30), P Hampsey for McCrory (h-t), C Cavanagh for S Cavanagh (h-t), M Donnelly for Harte (h-t), M Bradley (0-1) for McKenna (44), C Meyler for C Cavanagh (49), R O’Neill for Brennan (59), C McCullagh for Sludden (67).
FERMANAGH: T Tracey, M Jones, C Cullen, C McManus, J Allen, D McCusker, R McCluskey, P Reihill, L Cullen, E Donnelly, P McCusker (0-1), J McMahon, A Breen (0-1), B Mulrone, E Courtney (0-1), T Corrigan (0-6, frees).
Subs: D Keenan for McMahon (h-t), McMahon for McCluskey (44), Cathal Beacom for Reihill (50), S Quigley (0-2, frees) for Courtney (51), T McCaffrey for Mulrone (57). Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).
Derry 2-12 Monaghan 1-13
Derry powered through to successive Dr McKenna Cup finals under Damian Barton after a pulsating two-point win over Monaghan at the Athletic Grounds.
In a competition where Barton has given youth its chance, it was experienced campaigner James Kielt with the crucial last-minute goal which pairs Derry, once again, with old rivals Tyrone in Saturday’s final.
Kilrea man Kielt blasted into the roof of the net in the 70th minute as Derry finally sank a Monaghan side that battled right to the end.
Underdogs Derry eased into a three-point lead with Aidy McLaughlin and Enda Lynn adding to Kielt’s opening free. Ciarán Hughes finally got Monaghan off the mark in the 15th minute but a Niall Loughlin free restored Derry’s three-point advantage.
Greenlough ace Loughlin (2) and Kielt added further frees for the hosts while a Barry McGinn score and two from Conor McManus left it 0-6 to 0-4 at the break.
McCarthy got a point to add to his goal with Fintan Kelly and McManus also splitting the uprights as Monaghan accelerated for home.
But Derry hit back through an Emmett McGuckin goal and the sides were locked at 1-11 each heading towards stoppage-time.
Kielt’s goal, and an insurance point from Niall Loughlin proved enough, despite the Farney hitting two late points.
DERRY: B McKinless, N Keenan, C Nevin, R Murphy, N Forester (0-1), O Duffin, M Craig, J Kielt (1-3, 0-3 frees) , A McLaughlin (0-1), E Lynn (0-1), N Loughlin (0-3, two frees), C McWilliams, R Bell (0-1), E McGuckin (1-0), B Heron.
Subs: C McAtamney for A McLaughlin (16); M Warnock for C McWilliams (16); M Lynch (0-1, free) for C McAtamney (bc, 34); B Grant (0-1) for B Heron (bc 35); C McGrogan for M Craig (43); G O’Neill for R Bell (65).
MONAGHAN: C Forde, D Wylie (0-1), N McAdam, R Wylie, F Kelly (0-1), K Hughes (0-1), C Walsh, D Mone, N Kearns, K O’Connell, B McGinn (0-3, two frees), O Duffy (0-2), R McAnespie, D Malone, C McManus (0-4, three frees).
Sub: K Duffy for D Mone (9); D Hughes for N Kearns (h-t); M Murnaghan for N McAdam (h-t); C McCarthy (1-1) for D Malone (h-t); S Carey for R McAnespie (51); T Kerr for C McManus (66). Referee: C Branagan (Down)