Fourth successive McKenna triumph for Tyrone

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 16:01

Brendan Devenney (right) and Cormac McGinley tussle for possession at Healy Park
Brendan Devenney (right) and Cormac McGinley tussle for possession at Healy Park

Two-goal Tyrone secured their fourth successive Gaelic Life Dr McKenna Cup title tonight, cantering to a 2-09 to 0-05 victory against a wasteful Donegal side.

The Red Hands had midfielder Kevin Hughes sent-off at Healy Park in Omagh but goals from Colm McCullagh (54 minutes) and Sean Cavanagh (70) saw them run out comfortable winners.

Both sides were guilty of some poor shooting in the opening half, with Ryan Bradley, Brendan Devenney and Barry Dunnion hitting some horrible wides for the Tir Chonaill men.

Tyrone, who had Cavanagh, their stand-in skipper, starting in Stephen O'Neill's place at full-forward, fared little better but scores from Davy Harte, Cathal McCarron, Christy Colhoun and Ger Cavlan saw them take a 0-04 to 0-02 lead into the break.

Donegal looked the sharper on the resumption, with Kevin McMenamin and Devenney firing over a free apiece to briefly level the tie.

But despite losing Hughes to his second bookable offence in the 52nd-minute, the defending champions came good.

They had the luxury of bringing on O'Neill and Owen Mulligan for the final quarter-hour and the goals duly came.

Displaying some of the soccer skills he honed with Omagh Town, McCullagh prodded home a Cavlan through ball for a well-worked major and Cavanagh added a second, ending a lung-bursting run with a neat left-footed finish to the Donegal net.

Reflecting on his side's success, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte said: 'It was a good win. It was a very competitive game and we probably didn’t deserve to be leading at the end of the first half.

'But I thought we did well in the second half, particularly when Stephen (O'Neill) and Owen (Mulligan) came on. It was unusual to have the likes of them in reserve.

'We took the goals well and merited the win.'

Harte admitted that Hughes' sending-off was harsh, from his point of view.

'I’d hope that Kevin’s second yellow card could be looked at again. To me it was totally accidental. He was going for the ball and the Donegal lad tripped over his feet.'

Tyrone – C McCullagh (1f), S Cavanagh 1-01 each, C McCarron 0-03 (2f), C Colhoun 0-02, D Harte, G Cavlan 0-01 each.
Donegal – B Devenney 0-03 (2f), K McMenamin (1f), C McFadden 0-01 each.