Hands dish a slap down to bit­ter ri­vals

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - SPORT - Ty­rone Derry BY KEVIN KELLY

TY­RONE jus­ti­fied their favourites tag to reach an­other Mckenna Cup fi­nal but they were pushed all the way by Derry at the Ath­letic Grounds.

It was a game that was in the melt­ing pot for long spells but in the fi­nal anal­y­sis the in­tro­duc­tion of Peter Harte (below) at half-time swung the game in favour of Ty­rone as he kicked five points.

A Christo­pher Bradley free opened the scor­ing for Derry but Ty­rone re­sponded through Ben Mcdon­nell and Ro­nan O’neill.

Bradley knocked over a sweetly struck 45 as well as an­other free with Shane Mcguigan and Enda

Lynn also on tar­get. Just af­ter the half hour mark, Bradley picked out Lynn with a sub­lime pass but the lat­ter elected to fist a point in­stead of go­ing for goal.

That left them three in front though but in the fi­nal five min­utes of the first half, Ty­rone upped the tempo with Ruairi Slud­den and O’neill both knock­ing over frees with Con­all Mccann tag­ging on a fine point from play to leave it all square.

Half-time sub Dar­ragh Cana­van put Ty­rone in front on the restart but a Bradley free closed the gap be­fore Pa­trick Coney blasted in a bril­liant 45th minute goal, his shot to the top left hand cor­ner of the net giv­ing keeper Benny Gallen no chance.

Ty­rone though held their op­po­nents score­less for the next 25 min­utes with sub­sti­tute Harte land­ing four frees in a row to give them a lead that they were never to lose and they didn’t look back.

VIC­TORY Ty­rone boss Mickey Harte

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