Tyrone prove too strong for Armagh in McKenna Cup semi-final

Early goals from PJ Lavery and Shay McGuigan set up a comfortable victory

Armagh’s Tony Kernan with Tyrone’s Mattie Donnelly during the Dr McKenna Cup clash at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photo: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

Armagh’s Tony Kernan with Tyrone’s Mattie Donnelly during the Dr McKenna Cup clash at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photo: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

 

Tyrone 3-10 Armagh 1-8

Tyrone are still on course to land their second four-in-a-row Dr McKenna Cup coup following this relatively straightforward semi-final win over a lacklustre Armagh side at the Athletic Grounds.

Tyrone were very much the dominant force in the first half, a fifth-minute goal from PJ Lavery proving the catalyst for some smart finishing that threatened to submerge their hosts.

Shay McGuigan pounced for a second goal to ease his side into a 2-3 to 0-1 lead as Armagh looking increasingly porous at the back.

The hard-working Stefan Campbell provided a lifeline for Armagh, though, when he scored a 24th-minute goal and when Tony Kernan soon added a point, a recovery looked imminent.

But Seán Cavanagh drilled home a third Tyrone goal at the end of the half to leave the visitors comfortably in front by 3-5 to 1-4 at the break.

And if they did not sustain their impressive scoring rate in the second half, Tyrone nonetheless retained their firm grip on the contest.

They restricted Armagh to spasmodic raids and generally maintained their dominance at midfield.

Conor McAlisikey, PJ Lavery and Darren McCurry were all on target as Mickey Harte’s team comfortably breasted the tape.

They will now play Cavan in Saturday’s final.

TYRONE: M O’Neill; D Quinn, R McNamee, R McKenna; R Brennan, M Donnelly, P Harte; C Cavanagh, C McCann (0-1); P J Lavery (1-1), R O’Neill, P Hughes (0-1); S McGuigan (1-0), S Cavanagh (1-3, 0-2f), C McAliskey (0-3). Subs: Joe McMahon for Hughes, R McNabb for Brennan (both 52mins), D McCurry (0-1) for McAliskey (54 mins), T McCann for Quinn (55 mins), P McNulty for C Cavanagh (57 mins), Justin McMahon for McKenna (64 mins).

ARMAGH: P McEvoy; C McKeever, B Donaghy, M Murray; M Shields, F Moriarty, N McConville; A Findon (0-1), S Campbell (1-1); S Forker, M McKenna (0-2), E McVerry; T Kernan, J Clarke (0-1), O MacIomhair. Subs: S Connell (0-1) for MacIomhair (24 mins), C O’Hanlon (0-1) for McConville (half-time), A Forker (0-1) for S Forker (43 mins), S Harold for Kernan (52 mins), C Vernon for Murray (BC, 62 mins).

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down).

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