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Ulster Minor Football Championship in association with Tyrone Fabrication

Saturday 15.04.2023
Team Talk Mag
Championship Football


Tyrone got their 2023 Ulster Minor Championship campaign off to a winning start after a hard earned 1-10 to 0-12 win over Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday. Manager Gerard Donnelly agreed that Cavan really put it up to his side and were unlucky not to have taken something from the game.

His team began confidently and opened the scoring through Brian Gallagher’s neat finish. A sixth minute free from the boot of Cavan’s Ben O’Hara tied the game but Tyrone dominated possession and created numerous scoring opportunities. Unfortunately for the young Red Hands they came up short far too often with errant passes and the occasional overplaying of the ball costing them vital scores.

 

Points from Ruairi Mc Cullagh, Conor Devlin, Aidan Hegarty and team captain Conor O’Neill helped Tyrone to reach the break in a strong position as they led 0-8 to 0-3 with Jake Whyte knocking over two late points to give his side hope at the short whistle.

Corner back Jamie Concannon opened the scoring for Tyrone a minute of the restart but Cavan were growing in confidence and added frees from O’Hara and Whyte to reduce the gap to four points. Cavan were starting to go through the gears and enjoying more possession but they were rocked back on their heels when a swift Tyrone counter attack was finished to the net by Darragh Donaghy.

That goal really fired up the Cavan lads and converted frees from Darragh Noonan and Jake Whyte added to the dismissal of Tyrone forward Ruairi Mc Cullagh saw momentum swing in favour of the home side. Tyrone were forced to work hard and defend deep but with Leo Hughes and Conor Devlin leading the line they did their best to keep the Breffni side at arm’s length.

With an extra man advantage and the aid of the wind Cavan continued to close the gap with points from Fiachra Brady and second half sub Arijus Metlovas ensuring it would be a tight finish.

Tyrone needed a score and a relieving counter attack led to a twenty metre free-in which was converted by team captain Conor O’Neill. However the Red Hands were soon back defending as Cavan fired over three late points from O’Hara, team captain Aaron Shekleton and Odhran Madden to leave a single score between the sides deep in injury time.

Tyrone dug deep with Leo Hughes leading the line as they denied Cavan time and space on the ball. With thirty six minutes on the clock in the second half Cavan went for broke before a superb tackle from Conor Devlin forced a sideline ball and the sound of the final whistle. The Red Hands had prevailed but the management team will know that there is much room for improvement and a performance like Saturday’s won’t break much delph when they face Antrim or Armagh.

Final score: Tyrone 1-10, Cavan 0-12

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