Tyrone 1-22 Derry 1-17 (AET)
Tyrone won an epic Dr McKenna Cup final at the Athletic Grounds, striking strongly in extra-time to deny old foes Derry.
Darren McCurry plunged the final dagger into the Oak Leaf heart with a penalty goal right at the death, after the Red Hands had fought back from a seemingly impossible situation.
They were tied at 0-15 to 1-12 at the end of normal time, and Mickey Harte’s side used their string bench to make it a fifth successive title in front of a crowd of 7,143.
Brendan Rogers’ game lasted just seconds, a head injury forcing the Derry midfielder out of the action, but his replacement, Conor McAtamney, sent James Kielt through for the opening score.
Lee Brennan had the Red Hands in front from a free by the sixth minute, and Colm Cavanagh’s mastery of the sweeper role nipped a series of Oak Leaf attacks in the bud.
Finding the long ball an unhelpful option, Derry attempted to take on a packed Tyrone defence at close quarters through the pace and trickery of the busy Enda Lynn, but that too provided them with little joy.
They went 21 minutes without a score, until Cailean O’Boyle won the free that Kielt converted, before bringing them level in the 23rd minut, and Damien Barton’s men dominated the final 15 minutes of the half.
Their best move saw Lynn pick a hole in the Tyrone defence, trading passes with McAtamney to slot over the lead point.
Derry were awarded a penalty when Ronan McNamee tussled with O’Boyle. Ryan Bell had already converted four spot kicks in the completion, and while Niall Morgan’s save ended his 100% record, he netted from the rebound on the half-hour.
Tyrone went 24 minutes without scoring, until Ronan O’Neill hit the target, but Emmet Bradley’s long range effort sent Derry in with a 1-5 to 0-4 interval lead.
Substitute Connor McAliskey narrowed the gap with a couple of frees, but another Bradley special, followed by a Christopher Bradley effort, restored the four-point cushion.
Conor Meyler’s introduction gave Tyrone and injection of pace and energy, and he combined with McShane to hoist a 46th minute point, and now a goal separated the sides.
Another sub, Niall Sludden, fired over a couple of points to level it ten minutes form the end, but the game swung back in favour of the Oak Leafers, with Lynn and Conor Kearns on target.
And as a tense tie flared up, Tyrone had two men sent off. Cathal McCarron went on a straight red and Ronan McNamee in a second booking, while Derry’s Daniel McKinless also departed on a second yellow.
But the Red Hands came storming back, with Meyler hitting two more before McCurry levelled from a free in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
In extra-time, Derry pushed two ahead, but Tyrone responded with six in a row, with the flying Meyler cutting through the opposition defence to create and execute scores, as they led by 0-21 to 1-14 at the interval.
Derry came again after the restart, but the outcome was settled by McCurry’s late penalty goal.
TYRONE: N Morgan, C McCarron, R McNamee, HP McGeary (0-01), T McCann (0-01), J McMahon, B Tierney, C Cavanagh, C Clarke, H Og Conlan, M Donnelly, C McShane (0-03), L Brennan (0-04, 2f), R O’Neill (0-01), P Quinn.
Subs: P McNulty for Clarke (h-t), C McAliskey (0-03, 3f) for Quinn (h-t), C Meyler (0-03, 1f) for Conlan (h-t), D McCurry (1-03, 1-0 pen 1f) for O’Neill (46), N Sludden (0-2) for McMahon (50), J Munroe (0-01) for McShane (70), K McGeary (71), C McCann (71), C Hampsey for Tierney (72) McShane for HP McGeary (75)
DERRY: T Mallon, M Craig C Mullan, K McKaigue, G McKinless, C McKaigue, D Heavron, B Rogers, E Bradley (0-02), E Lynn (0-03), J Kielt (0-03, 2f), B Heron, S Heavron, C O’Boyle (0-01, f), R Bell (1-01, 0-1f).
Subs: C McAtamney (0-01) for Rogers (1), C Bradley (0-01) for S Heavron (31), O Duffy (0-01) for Craig (40), C Kearns (0-2) for Heron (49), D McKinless for Bell (52), N Forrester (0-01) for G McKinless (58), G McKinless (71), G McWilliams (0-01, f) for Kielt (78), P Quinn for D Heavron (81), S Mulgrew for Kearns (82)
Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).