Tyrone 1-15 Cavan 0-11
Tyrone overpowered 14-man Cavan in the second half to win a third successive Dr McKenna Cup title at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.
The Breffni men led by four points just before half-time, but a Plunkett Kane goal sparked the Red Hand challenge and they took control after the challengers had defender Killian Brady sent off.
Kyle Coney marked his first start of the season with an eye-catching display up front, finishing with a five points tally, with Paddy McNeice and goalkeeper Niall Morgan hitting three each.
Martin Dunne and Eugene Keating got the Breffni men off to a positive start with a handful of quality scores, but it was their defence which made a massive impact in the early stages, Joshua Hayes Killian Brady and James McEnroe repeatedly denying the Red Hands with the intensity of their tackling.
It wasn’t until the 12th minute that Tyrone, who had fallen three points behind, registered their first score, when Kyle Coney, making his first start of the season, curled over an excellent point from wide on the left.
Goalkeeper Niall Morgan narrowed the gap from a free, and Tyrone were denied a goal when Mark Donnelly cut in from the left to fire in a shot, but ‘keeper Alan O’Mara produced an excellent save.
Keating lifted Cavan spirits again with another wonderful score, shooting on sight and sending the ball sailing between the posts.
But Morgan thumped a 45 metre free between the posts, despite the strong wind gusting in his face.
Dunne and Keating stepped it up again, and by now they had coin tribute a combined total of seven points, nudging their side into a four points lead.
But the Red Hands plundered a goal deep into stoppage time. Paddy McNeice’s shot was parried by goalkeeper O’Mara, and Plunkett Kane netted from the rebound, sending the sides in level at 1-5 to 0-8 at the interval.
Cavan had a goal chance when Cian Mackey sent Michael Argue clear, but he smashed his shot just wide.
They went back in front through the hard-working Mackey, but Coney and McNeice had the holders back in front.
Cavan suffered a blow in the 47th minute when corner back Killian Brady was black-carded, and as he had already been booked, no replacement was allowed.
By the three-quarter stage, Tyrone had eased into a four points lead, and the Cavan defence was looking less secure as they were confronted by waves of attack.
Mark Donnelly and Coney punished the challengers with points on the counter-attack, and Tyrone outscored their opponents by 10 points to three in the second half.
Coney, making his first start of the season, marked his return with a five points tally, while McNeice nailed three as the Red Hands finished in control and in style.
Cavan sub Mark McKeever did come close to netting late on, but he drilled a superb shot against a post.
Tyrone: N Morgan (00-03, 3f), PJ Quinn, D McBride, R McKenna, R McNabb, D Carlin, T McCann, N McKenna (00-01), S Cavanagh (00-01), PJ Lavery, C Cavanagh, P Kane (01-00), P McNeice (00-03), M Donnelly (00-01), K Coney (00-05, 2f).
Subs: C Grugan for C Cavanagh, C McGinley (00-01) for McNabb, A McCrory for McBride, E McKenna for Kane, S McGuigan for Lavery, P Hughes for Donnelly
Cavan: A O’Mara, J Hayes, R Dunne, K Brady, D Barkey, J McLoughlin, J McEnroe, D McKiernan, D O’Reilly, M Reilly, N McDermott, M Argue, C Mackey (00-03), M Dunne (00-04, 2f), E Keating (00-03).
Subs: N Smith for Dunne, G McKiernan for D McKiernan, J Givney (00-01)for Barkey, K Tierney for McDermott, M McKeever for Hayes, P Leddy for McLoughlin.
Referee: M McNally (Monaghan).