A goal by centre forward Cormac McCloskey with nine minutes remaining proved to be the decisive score as Tyrone Under 15 development side lost their opening league encounter against Derry in Garvaghey.
The visitors began brightly and raced into an early lead with two points inside the first six minutes. Both sides were guilty of being wasteful in possession and with both defences generally on top, scoring chances were at a premium. Tyrone’s case wasn’t helped as they lost midfielder Dermot Quinn to injury after 9 minutes.
Tyrone opened their account in the 21st minute through the lively Liam McGeary. The game was level 3 minutes later when McGeary finished a fine flowing move as Tyrone carried the ball out of defence before Canavan set up the inside forward. This was to be the home side’s best period of the game and they took the lead for the first time when McGeary confidently struck his third point.
A free kick from McCloskey brought the first half to a conclusion with the sides tied 3-3.
The only score in the third quarter came from Mackle after 40 minutes as the Tyrone defence well marshalled by Paul McGinley and Ross Daly in the full back line continued to defend resolutely, against a physically bigger Derry side. Sean Corry and Davin McKeown also worked very hard in forcing Derry to shot from distance.
With the game entering in it’s final ten minutes, it was Derry who seized the initiative. The Derry forwards combined well to release McCloskey and for once there was no cover, as the son of the new Derry sponsor slammed home from close range.
Boosted by the goal the Derry attack reeled over points from Dillon, Mackle and Kilmartin. Peter McGoldrick got Tyrone’s first score of the half with a couple of minutes remaining.
Despite the best efforts of Jamie Concannon and the hard working .Sean Og Teague, who got the game’s final score it was Derry who ran out victors. Tyrone 0-5 Derry 1-9.