Tony Scullion defends ‘pure gentleman’ Damian Barton

Tyrone 1-22 Derry 1-17 (AET): Derry assistant manager Tony Scullion defended Damian Barton after the Oak Leaf boss was sent to the stand for getting involved in a brawl during Saturday night’s dramatic McKenna Cup final.

Tony Scullion defends ‘pure gentleman’ Damian Barton

Barton’s team were leading by two points with a few minutes of normal time remaining when tempers flared in the bottom corner of the Athletic Grounds pitch.

Ronan McNamee’s rash challenge earned him a second yellow card and sparked the row, with pumped-up Barton running down to get involved and during the melee he was knocked to the ground.

When the dust settled, Barton was dismissed to the stand. Cathal McCarron received a straight red card, reducing Tyrone to 13 players, and Danial McKinless went soon after for a second yellow card to leave Derry with 14 during a frantic final few minutes, as Tyrone mounted a stirring comeback to force extra-time.

Having already lost a couple of early season skirmishes to Tyrone, Derry were determined to lay down a marker ahead of the league and Ulster championship battles to come.

And they were the better team for most of normal time, yet at the end of an exhausting 100 minutes they were the ones left counting the cost.

Enda Lynn, their best player on the night, was stretchered off at the end of extra-time with a suspected broken ankle while Brendan Rogers had to be taken to hospital with a facial gash sustained straight after the throw-in.

Afterwards Barton’s assistant Tony Scullion described the renewed intensity in this rivalry as “healthy”.

Scullion also stood up for Barton, who is facing a possible sideline ban at the start of his first Allianz League campaign as Derry manager. “I have known him (Barton) all my life and he is a pure gentleman, on and off the field.” Derry scored an unanswered 1-4 in a ten minute spell in the first half, Ryan Bell with the goal after his penalty was initially blocked by Niall Morgan, and they led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break.

However the introduction of the superb Conor Meyler, Darren McCurry and Niall Sludden, who kicked 1-8 between them, ignited Tyrone.

After the row, Lynn’s point from the wing put Derry 1-12 to 0-12 ahead in the 69th minute, but the drama was only starting.

Meyler replied instantly with a point and then kicked a free at the start of injury-time.

The referee signalled four minutes of injury-time but in the sixth minute of stoppage time, Sludden was fouled and McCurry stepped up to nail the equalising free.

Somehow, Tyrone had salvaged the situation to finish level at 0-15 to 1-12 and the momentum was with them now. Although Derry scored the opening two points of extra time, Tyrone hit six in a row, Cathal McShane with two of them, to lead 0-21 to 1-14 at half time. Connor McAliskey was fouled in the square late on and McCurry drilled home the penalty to seal it.

Scorers for Tyrone:

D McCurry 1-3 (pen, 1f), L Brennan 0-4 (2f), C Meyler 0-3 (1f), C McAliskey 0-3 (3f), C McShane 0-3, N Sludden 0-2, HP McGeary 0-1, R O’Neill 0-1, T McCann 0-1, J Munroe 0-1.

Scorers for Derry:

R Bell 1-1 (f), J Kielt 0-3 (2f), E Lynn 0-3, E Bradley 0-2, C Kearns 0-2, C Bradley 0-1, O Duffy 0-1, N Forrester 0-1, C O’Boyle (0-1, f), G McWilliams 0-1 (f), C McAtamney 0-1.


N Morgan; C McCarron, R McNamee, HP McGeary; T McCann, J McMahon, B Tierney; C Cavanagh, C Clarke; H Og Conlon, M Donnelly, C McShane; L Brennan, R O’Neill, P Quinn.


P McNulty for Clarke (HT), C Meyler for Conlon (HT), C McAliskey for Quinn (HT), D McCurry for O’Neill (47), N Sludden for McMahon (51), J Munroe for McShane (66), P Hampsey for Tierney (72), C McShane for HP McGeary (76).


T Mallon; C Mullan, M Craig, K McKaigue; G McKinless, C McKaigue, D Heavron; B Rogers, E Bradley; E Lynn, J Kielt, B Heron; S Heavron, C O’Boyle, R Bell.


C McAtamney for Rogers (1), C Bradley for S Heavron (32), O Duffy for Craig (41), C Kearns for Heron (49), D McKinless for Bell (53), N Forrester for G McKinless (59), G McWilliams for Kielt (79), P Quinn for D Heavron (81), S Mulgrew for Kearns (83).


Noel Mooney (Cavan)

More in this section

CourtsGaaFootballPlace: CavanPerson: Tony ScullionPerson: Damian BartonPerson: BartonPerson: Ronan McNameePerson: Cathal McCarronPerson: Danial McKinlessPerson: Enda LynnPerson: Brendan RogersPerson: ScullionPerson: Ryan BellPerson: Niall MorganPerson: Conor MeylerPerson: Darren McCurryPerson: Niall SluddenPerson: TyronePerson: LynnPerson: MeylerPerson: SluddenPerson: McCurryPerson: Cathal McShanePerson: Connor McAliskeyPerson: D McCurryPerson: L BrennanPerson: C MeylerPerson: C McAliskeyPerson: C McShanePerson: N SluddenPerson: R O’NeillPerson: T McCannPerson: J MunroePerson: R BellPerson: J KieltPerson: E LynnPerson: EPerson: C KearnsPerson: C BradleyPerson: O DuffyPerson: NPerson: ForresterPerson: CPerson: O’BoylePerson: G McWilliamsPerson: C McCarronPerson: R McNameePerson: HP McGearyPerson: J McMahonPerson: B TierneyPerson: C CavanaghPerson: C ClarkePerson: H Og ConlonPerson: M DonnellyPerson: P QuinnPerson: P McNultyPerson: ClarkePerson: ConlonPerson: QuinnPerson: O’NeillPerson: McMahonPerson: McShanePerson: PPerson: TierneyPerson: T MallonPerson: C MullanPerson: M CraigPerson: K McKaiguePerson: G McKinlessPerson: C McKaiguePerson: D HeavronPerson: B RogersPerson: E BradleyPerson: B HeronPerson: S HeavronPerson: C O’BoylePerson: C McAtamneyPerson: RogersPerson: CraigPerson: HeronPerson: D McKinlessPerson: BellPerson: N ForresterPerson: KieltPerson: S MulgrewPerson: KearnsPerson: Noel MooneyEvent: McKenna Cup finalEvent: UlsterOrganisation: TyroneOrganisation: DerryOrganisation: Oak Leaf
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