Tyrone progress in Dr McKenna Cup

Tyrone 2-17 Cavan 1-4

Tyrone 2-17 Cavan 1-4

Tyrone booked their place in the Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals as Group B winners following their resounding victory over Cavan.

The game started half an hour late, due to dense fog which threatened to prevent any action at Healy Park

But when the action did get going, Mickey Harte’s men encountered little resistance from a Breffni side which has now failed to win any of its three games in the pre-season competition.

Cavan, looking to bounce back from a shock home defeat to St Mary’s in midweek, started smartly, and took the lead in the 12th minute with points from Gareth Smith and Sean Brady.

But the home side gradually took control, and with Justin McMahon, Dermot Carlin and Ronan McNabb defending with discipline, they took the game to the Breffni men.

Niall McKenna and Eoin McCusker swung over a handful of neat scores, and Stephen O’Neill converted a free for a 0-6 to 0-2 lead by the 28th minute.

Martin Cahill scored Cavan’s only point of the second quarter, and another Tyrone flourish saw them build up a comfortable eight points interval lead.

Mark Donnelly hammered home a 33rd minute goal after O’Neill had broken Sean O’Neill’s delivery into his path, and he almost had a second, when his screamer smacked against the crossbar on its way over.

With a 1-8 to 0-3 lead at the break, Tyrone eased comfortably into the second half, and after Stephen O’Neill, Mattie Donnelly and mark Donnelly had stretched their lead with well taken points, they struck for a second goal in the 55th minute.

Again it was Carrickmore’s mark Donnelly who applied a glorious finish to a sweeping move involving Kevin Hughes, Mickey Murphy and Peter Harte.

And they kept the momentum going with a couple of Eoin McCusker scores, before a rare lapse at the back allowed Alan Clarke in for a consolation goal.

That sparked another Tyrone flourish, and they hit the final four points of the game, with Mattie Donnelly chipping in with two immaculate efforts.

Tyrone: J Curran, D Carlin, Justin McMahon, PJ Quinn, Joe McMahon, C McElholm, R McNabb (0-1), M Murphy (0-2), K Hughes, N McKenna (0-2), P Harte, Mattie Donnelly (0-3, 1f), E McCusker (0-4), Stephen O’Neill (0-2, 2f), Mark Donnelly (2-2).

Subs: Sean O’Neill (0-1, 1f) for McElholm (17), M Swift for Quinn (17), C McGurk for Justin McMahon (55), K Coney for Stephen O’Neill (63), E mcGinley for Hughes (65)

Cavan: F Reilly, K Lynch, T Corr, E Smith, M Cahill (0-1), J McCutcheon, M McKeever, N Walsh, E McGuigan, N Maden, G Smith (0-2), A Clarke (1-0), D O’Dowd, S Brady (0-1, 1f), C Smith.

Subs: M Johnston for McGuigan (31), P Reilly for Johnston (41), J McCabe for Brady (47), J Jordan for Smith (53), J Cunningham for McCutcheon (64)

Yellow cards: Cavan: N Madden (20), M Cahill (38)

Referee: S McGonagle (Donegal).

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