Tyrone Trounce Sperrin Neighbours To Secure 6th McKenna Cup in a Row

On a bitterly cold in Pairc Esler in Newry it is Tyrone who have come away with their 6th McKenna Cup title in a row and their 15th title overall.
Prior to throw in both teams made a few changes to the starting 15. Tyrone brought in All Star nominee Cathal McCarron to help strengthen their defence and the Carmen Supremo Jonathon Monroe dropped to the bench.Tyrone also brought County Champion Midfielder Conall McCann and young talen David Mulgrew into the 26 man panel. Derry also made changes to their starting line up as they brought in Loup goalkeeper postie in place of Ben McKinless. Whilst Castledawsons Niall Kennan and Magherafelts Emmett McGuckin came in for Conor McGrugan and Michael Warnock.
The game started off very tight and cagey with McGuckin opening the scoring with a point from play but Tyrone responded very quickly with an excellent Ronan O’Neill point. The game was very nip and tuck for the opening 15 minutes with Banagher man Mark lynch and Declan McClure son of the great Harry trading scores. Tyrone then landed the first sucker punch of the game with a very well worked goal finished off by The Work horse Colly Cavanagh. Derry however went straight back up the field and nearly landed there own three pointer but it struck the crossbar and the Dungannon man Padraig McNulty was able to react quick enough and take the ball away from goal. This was the closest the Oakleaf men came to scoring for the remainder of the first half. Tyrone landed five super scores in a row. Omagh man Ronan O’Neill landed the first of the five, then man of the match Mattie Donnelly landed a lovely point from play. O’Neill then landed another one between the posts and the very lively Killyclogher man Sparky Bradley turned on the style to land two great scores. Tyrone went into the half time interval with a 1-07 to 0-2 lead.
Tyrone made a few subs at half time with Big Sean Cavanagh coming onto replace his younger brother Colly and Darren the Dazzler McCurry coming on to replace Sparky Bradley.
Tyrone started the second half the way they finished the first half with the incredible workrate and speed of Omaghs Conor Meyler breaking through the Derry defence to fire over the bar. Kilrea man James Kielt then landed a score for the men in red but anything Derry can do Tyrone can do better as they worked the ball up the field with serious speed from Conor Meyley and Sludden which resulted in Big McNulty to be taken down for a free which Harte pointed with ease. Derry responded to this with two well taken scores from the boot of Sucky Bell and James kielt. It could have got better for the Oakleaf men but excellent defending from the always brilliant Cathal McCarron and Na Fianna man Hampsey helped to prevent Derry scoring more. All Star Mattie Donnelly landed another super score and Greencastles Cahir McCullagh and Dromores Niall Sludden both pointed for the Red hands. Kielt then responded for Derry but then the second goal of the night came from a cooly taken penalty from Errigal man Peter Harte. Mickey harte then made a few changes and introduced Conall McCann, Aghayarn man Ronan McHugh and Man of The Match in the 2015 All Ireland Under 21 Final and Glenmornan man Cathal McShane. The Tyrone defence continued to stand strong and then Tyrone almost landed a third goal as McHugh set up McClure who smacked the post with a thunderous effort. Tyrone only kicked one more point after this thanks to the boot of Conall McCann as Derry kicked 1-1 in the final stages of the match to take the shine off the scoreboard thanks to a goal through Niall Louglin. In the end Tyrone won 2-13 to Derrys 1-07. Mattie Donnelly recieved the Man of the Match award on the night however Conor Meyler and a host of others also put a massive shift for the men in white.It was a very good performace from the Red Hands wjo now play the Rossies in the first round of the league on Sunday and the first piece of silverware for 2017 and who knows there could be much more.