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Tyrone Regain Mc Kenna Cup

Saturday 19.01.2019
Team Talk Mag


Tyrone are Mc Kenna Cup champions once again after a hard fought and at times tempestuous two point win over a very determined Armagh side at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on Saturday night.

Armagh began the game well and with ten minutes gone they had established a 0-4 to 0-1 lead with Rory Grugan, Niall Grimley and Stefan Campbell responding to Darren Mc Curry’s opening score for Tyrone.

The Edendork man reduced the gap to two with his second converted free of the game only for Armagh to stretch the lead to three again with twenty minutes on the clock. It was then that Tyrone produced their brightest spell of the evening when they outscored Armagh seven points to one to reach the break three in front. Niall Sludden (2), Cathal Mc Shane (1), Darren Mc Curry (3) and Decky Mc Clure (1) hit the scores that put the Red Hands into such a strong position while another Niall Grimley free kept Armagh in the game.

The second half was less free flowing but no less competitive than the first and referee Joe Mc Quillan and his match officials had their hands full keeping a lid on things as the game threatened to get out of hand. Three players were ordered off as exchanges became more tetchy.

Armagh outscored Tyrone nine points to seven in the second half but a missed Rory Grugan penalty with four minutes remaining proved crucial. A goal at that stage would have given Armagh the lead and real belief heading into the closing minutes. The fact that it cleared the crossbar meant Tyrone still led and they had something to fight for.

With injury time looming Tyrone led by one. As both teams lost a player each to red cards tempers rose and the closing exchanges were tough and uncompromising. A Mc Curry free put Tyrone two ahead and after some sustained pressure from the home side another Rory Grugan special left one in it with three of the six additional minutes gone.

The home support among the 11300 plus crowd really found their voices as they tried to get their side over the line. However it was Tyrone who finished the game and the scoring when Cathal Mc Shane won and converted a late free to seal the win and bring the Mc Kenna Cup back to Tyrone.

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-1, 1F), C McLaughlin, R McNamee (0-1), L Rafferty, T McCann, A McCrory, M Cassidy, C Grugan, D McClure (0-1), N Sludden (0-2), R O’Neill, C McCann, D McCurry (0-9, 8F), P Harte, C McShane (0-2, 1F). Subs: C Meyler for C McCann, M Donnelly for Cassidy, K McGeary for Rafferty, D Canavan for O’Neill, K Coney for Grugan


Armagh: B Hughes, C Mackin, A McKay, J Morgan, R McCaughley, B Donaghy, G McCabe, S Sheridan, N Grimley (0-5, 4F, 1 “45”), J Hall, R Grugan (0-5, 5F), R McShane, S Campbell (0-2), R O’Neill (0-1), J Clarke (0-1). Subs: J Burns for McShane, J McElroy for Donaghy, D McKenna for Clarke, C Vernon for McCabe, R McQuillan for Hall


Referee: J McQuillan, Cavan



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