GAA: Tyrone win football league title

Tyrone's attacking flair brought a first ever national title to the county when they destroyed Cavan in a one-sided Allianz National Football League final at Clones.

Tyrone 0-16, Cavan 0-07 (full-time)

Tyrone's attacking flair brought a first ever national title to the county when they destroyed Cavan in a one-sided Allianz National Football League final at Clones.

The Red Hands played some sparkling football, defending solidly and picking off scores with style and precision.

Skipper Peter Canavan led by example, finishing with a personal tally of six points to can an inspirational performance.

For Cavan, it's back to the drawing board as they prepare for a championship opener against Donegal in a fortnight, having managed just two points from play in more than 70 minutes of football.

Cavan struggled to cope with Tyrone's fast-moving style of play in the opening 15 minutes, during which the Red Hands stroked over four points and kicked as many wides.

Brian McGuigan, Peter Canavan, twice, Kevin Hughes and dynamic defender Ryan McMenamin all steered over sweet scores to put the Ulster champions firmly in the driving seat.

With Cormac McAnallen powering the midfield engine room, and corner backs Brian Robinson and Conor Gormley repeatedly plucking a greasy ball from the clouds, Cavan were never allowed to settle.

They managed just one point from play, from Peter Reilly, in the entire first half, with Finbar O'Reilly converting two frees.

In the meantime, Tyrone oozed class, with their half-back unit of McMenamin, Ciaran Gourley and Philip Jordan always available for support.

McMenamin sprinted forward to shoot his second point, Canavan, now being shadowed by a second marker, kicked two more, sent McAnallen in for a fisted score, and the Red Hand machine was moving at full throttle.

Stephen O'Neill, following a strangely quiet start, became Tyrone's seventh scorer, and the Breffni men scarcely knew where to turn.

Although O'Reilly brought them a fraction closer from a free, half-time couldn't have come quickly enough for Mattie Kerrigan's side, trailing by 0-10 to 0-3 at the end of a punishing and revealing 35 minutes.

Cavan's expected revival never materialised, they failed totally to come anywhere close to Tyrone's tidy teamwork and selfless support play, and the brilliant Canavan continued to torment the Breffni defence with some inspired scores.

Stephen O'Neill also chipped in with a couple of gems, and Brian McGuigan's creative brilliance also shone as he forged a wonderful partnership with Canavan.

Finbar O'Reilly tagged on a couple more Cavan frees and Paul Galligan thumped over an encouraging score, but this was only token resistance.

But the Red Hands always held something in reserve, their defence never buckled, the midfield remained creative and busy, and the attack was a constant threat.

Tyrone finished with a flourish, worthy NFL champions and ready to take the championship by storm.

Tyrone: P Ward, C Gormley, C Lawn, B Robinson, R McMenamin, C Gourley, P Jordan, C McAnallen, C Holmes, B Dooher, S O'Neill, G Cavlan, B McGuigan, K Hughes, P Canavan.

Cavan: A Donoghue, E Reilly, T Prior, C Hannon M Brides, A Forde, J Doonan, P McKenna, C Collins, P Galligan, P Reilly, F O'Reilly, L Reilly, J Reilly, M Graham.

Referee: M Collins (Cork).

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