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Tyrone beat Monaghan to win 8th Dr McKenna Cup in 9 years

Ronan O’Neill and Darren McCurry hit seven points between them, as their side earned a deserved win.

Image: Declan Roughan/INPHO

Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup Final

Tyrone 0-11 Monaghan 1-5

TYRONE WON THEIR eighth Dr McKenna Cup in nine years when they deservedly won a scrappy final against Monaghan in Armagh. Tyrone never trailed in a forgettable game as they retained the trophy, with Ronan O’Neill and Darren McCurry hitting seven points between them.

A dull final quarter eventually produced a late goal for Monaghan, but that just put a slight gloss on the scoreline for Séamus McEnaney’s side, who will hope an early injury to 2013 All-Star defender Colin Walshe doesn’t keep him out of the early stages of the league.   

Tyrone started brightly with points from Frank Burns and Michael O’Neill and although Shane Carey got Monaghan off the mark on eight minutes, Daniel Kerr quickly restored the holders’ two-point lead. 12 scoreless minutes followed before a quick brace by Conor McCarthy levelled things up.

Tyrone ended the first half with a flourish, sparked by the introduction of McCurry, who continued his strong early-season form with a hat-trick of points from play. Kieran McGeary and Ronan O’Neill were also on target as the Red Hands built up a healthy 0-8 to 0-3 half-time lead.

O’Neill doubled his tally after the restart to open up a six-point gap, before Carey and McCarthy replied for Monaghan, who would fail to add to their tally until added time. In fact, the only score of the following 20 minutes was an O’Neill free, as the game looked set to peter out, with both sides having a penalty appeal turned down.

There was a slight lift to proceedings down the home straight, as O’Neill hit his fourth score at the end of a patient Tyrone move, while Monaghan got the game’s only goal in fortuitous circumstances, when Dessie Ward’s point attempt hit an upright and fell for Barry McBennett to hit the empty net.

Attentions now turn to the start of the league, with Tyrone facing newly promoted Meath and Monaghan travelling to Galway next weekend. Both sides will most likely show several changes for their Division One openers.

Scorers for Tyrone: Ronan O’Neill 0-4 (1f); Darren McCurry 0-3; Michael O’Neill, Daniel Kerr, Frank Burns, Kieran McGeary 0-1 each.

Scorers for Monaghan: Barry McBennett 1-0; Conor McCarthy 0-3; Shane Carey 0-2 (1f).

TYRONE:

1. Niall Morgan (Edendork)
4. Hugh Pat McGeary (Coalisland)
3. Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran)
7. Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher)
5. Michael Cassidy (Ardboe)
6. Michael O’Neill (Ardboe)
2. Conor Quinn (Galbally)
17. Colm Cavanagh (Moy)
9. Conan Grugan (Omagh)
10. Conor Meyler (Omagh)
11. David Mulgrew (Ardboe)
12. Kieran McGeary (Pomeroy)
25. Ronan O’Neill (Omagh)
14. Frank Burns (Pomeroy)
15. Daniel Kerr (Galbally).

Subs:

23. Darren McCurry (Edendork) for Mulgrew (inj., 24)
8. Ben McDonnell (Aghyaran) for Cavanagh (H-T)
26. Niall Sludden (Dromore) for M O’Neill (53)
21. Niall Kelly (Errigal Ciarán) for McNamee (56).

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MONAGHAN:

1. Conor Forde (Emyvale)
3. Drew Wylie (Ballybay)
4. Conor Boyle (Clontibret)
2. Colin Walshe (Doohamlet)
5. Shane Carey (Scotstown)
6. Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)
12. Dessie Ward (Ballybay)
8. Niall Kearns (Seán McDermotts)
9. Barry McBennett (Doohamlet)
10. Michael P O’Dowd (Clontibret)
11. Robbie McAlister (Emyvale)
15. Philip Donnelly (Blackhill)
7. Pádraic Keenan (Corduff)
14. Keith McEnaney (Corduff)
22. Conor McCarthy (Scotstown).

Subs:

13. Kieran Duffy (Latton) for Walshe (inj., 4)
17. Dermot Malone (Castleblayney) for Donnelly (H-T)
21. Karl O’Connell (Tyholland) for Boyle (45)
18. Ryan McAnespie (Emyvale) for O’Dowd (53)
19. Kieran Hughes (Scotstown) for McEnaney (65).

Referee: Ciarán Branagan (Down).

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About the author:

Colm Shalvey

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