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Tyrone And Derry Play Out Entertaining Draw.

Saturday 01.02.2014
Team Talk Mag
Club


Tyrone came away from Celtic Park with mixed emotions following this opening National League draw with neighbours Derry played in extremely difficult weather conditions. After a fantastic opening to the second half they led at one stage by seven points but in a see-saw closing few minutes Derry may feel they could have stolen the game which finished Tyrone 2-12, Derry 1-15.

Mickey Harte’s young side took a while to settle as Derry looked the more purposeful team early on, this in spite of playing into a very strong wind. Conan Grugan bagged a fabulous goal four minutes in but the home side’s hunger and passion around the break ball saw them open up a three point lead ten minutes in. Tyrone rather harshly lost Danny Mc Bride to a black card for a nothing challenge early in the half. Derry midfield pair Doherty and Bradley held the upper hand at this stage and provided their forwards with lots of quality ball that had the Tyrone defence in all sorts of trouble. However Edendork pair Darren Mc Curry and Niall Morgan’s accuracy ensured Tyrone recovered from their poor start to lead 1-6 to 0-7 at the break.

With such a strong wind blowing in their favour in the second half most of the five thousand plus crowd were expecting the Oak Leafers to turn the deficit around quickly and push for the win. However whatever it was that Mickey Harte said at the break saw a transformed Tyrone side take to the field. Points from Mc Curry, Mc Ginley, Donnelly and a goal from Mc Curry put Tyrone in pole position as they moved into a 2-9 to 0-8 lead seven minutes into the second half.

Derry looked all at sea at this stage as Tyrone hunted in packs and swarmed the home side at every opportunity. The home side took a while to find their shooting boots again but when Caolan O’Boyle got on the end of a fine Derry move to flick to the net the momentum changed. Suddenly Derry looked the team most likely but Tyrone refused to give up and further scores from Ronan O’Neill and Conan Grugan put them three in front with the clock ticking down. Credit to Derry they hit the last three points of the game to ensure it ended all square to leave both sides took a point a piece from what was a very entertaining and high scoring first round fixture.

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