Tyrone and Derry to meet in McKenna Cup final

Fermanagh's Aidan Breen challenges Tyrone's Connor McAliskey
Fermanagh's Aidan Breen challenges Tyrone's Connor McAliskey

Tyrone and Derry will meet in the 2016 Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup Final, following semi-final victories over Fermanagh and Cavan respectively yesterday.

Mickey Harte’s men are on course for a fifth successive triumph after outlasting Fermanagh in Clones.

Fermanagh made the better start at St Tiernach’s Park, with Sean Quigley registering their first three points before Conor McAlliskey eventually got Tyrone off the mark via a 16th minute free.

Mark Bradley backed his fellow attacker up with two frees of his own to help the Red Hands draw level by the break on 0-4 apiece.

The holders introduced Sean Cavanagh early in the second-half.

Frees from McAliskey and Bradley edged Tyrone two ahead before Fermanagh’s Eoin Donnelly was sent off after getting a second yellow card.

A Cavanagh point helped Tyrone extend their lead to five.

Quigley pulled one back for Pete McGrath’s men but when McAlliskey snuck in for the game’s only goal Tyrone’s 1-13 to 0-9 victory was sealed.

In Armagh, Derry handed Cavan their first defeat of 2016 by 1-16 to 1-10 score-line.

The game was level at 0-4 when the Oak Leafers were awarded a penalty which Ryan Bell scored and from there they outscored the Breffni men by 0-6 to 0-2 to take a commanding seven-point lead into the break.

Killian Clarke registered a second-half goal for the Blues, while Seanie Johnston and Eugene Keating came off the bench to kick points, but Damien Barton’s men ensured their passage into the final with scores from Bell, Danny Heavron, Cailean O’Boyle and Emmet Bradley.

“We are happy. We came to win the match which has to be the mindset every match,” said Derry boss Damien Barton.

“I was very happy with the first half. There was a couple of wee things in the second half that we need to look at but I think the boys performed very well and they deserved great credit.

“It’s all about confidence as much as everything else.”