Tyrone 3-7 Derry 0-14
Tyrone qualified for the Ulster football final today, beating Derry in a bad tempered game despite only managing to score once in the final 18 minutes of the match.
The early stages were filled with the type of physical encounters usually associated with the Ulster football championship and Ger Cavlan and Peter Canavan were both booked in the early stages. Enda Muldoon landed the first point of the game with a well-taken score off his right foot, before Cavlan equalised for Tyrone. Points by Anthony Tohill (free) and Peter Bradley, gave Derry a two-point lead. A nine-minute break in scoring followed, with some bad wides kicked, indicative of the generally poor standard of play.
Brian McMenamin finally broke this lull by charging up from wing-back to score Tyrone's second point. That score seemed to wake up Tyrone and shortly afterwards Ger Cavlan, guilty of some terrible shooting up to that point, charged through the middle to bury a shot high into the Derry net. The goal was tainted by the fact that Cavlan blatantly over-carried the ball, taking at least 10 steps. Both Peter Canavan and Stephen O'Neill had been anonymous up to this point but some positional changes saw them come more into the contest - Canavan pulling the strings at centre-forward and O'Neill benefiting to the tune of two points from his move into right corner forward to send Tyrone in at the break leading by a single point 1-4 to 0-6.
Owen Mulligan collected the first point of the second half coming onto a quickly taken 45 and shooting over. By this point the game had turned nasty, with numerous off-the-ball incidents and referee Paddy Russell consistently being forced to consult with his linesmen and umpires. The most surprising aspect of this period of play was that it ended with both sides still playing with 15 men, although there was a slew of bookings. A Paul Murphy point levelled the game up for the fourth time but Tyrone then blitzed Derry in a five-minute spell that ultimately won them the match. First Brian Dooher goaled after 50 minutes, McMenamin added a quick point, and then O'Neill found himself with space behind the Derry full back line to collect a long ball and finish to the net.
That looked like game, set and match for Tyrone but they lost their concentration and four Bradley points in a row dragged Derry back into contention. Canavan and Muldoon swapped pointed frees and the game entered injury time with Tyrone leading by just three points, despite having dominated for long periods. Derry needed to go for goal and they nearly got it when Bradley's shot was brilliantly saved by Finbarr O'Connell. Gavin Diamond swung the breaking ball over the bar, but it was too little, and Tyrone held on and progress to the final.
Tyrone: S O'Neill 1-2, G Cavlan 1-1, B Dooher 1-0, B McMenamin 0-2, O Mulligan 0-1, P Canavan 0-1 (free)
Derry: P Bradley 0-5 (0-4 frees), G Diamond 0-3, A Tohill 0-3 (frees), E Muldoon 0-2, P Murphy 0-1
Filed by Pat Nugent