Tyrone survived a Healy Park scare to finish strongly and overcome Derry by 1-19 to 1-13 in an action-packed Ulster SFC preliminary tie.

A late Darren McCurry goal and seven Cathal McShane points helped the Red Hands over the line, but at one stage they found themselves in a dangerous place, after a brilliant Shane McGuigan goal had helped the visitors take a shock lead.

The Oak Leafers, who played their football in Division 4 of the NFL this year, were not able to complete the job, however, as last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists stepped up the tempo in the closing stages to win by six and go through to a quarter-final clash with Antrim.

Darren McCurry's goal was pivotal

Derry, with the wind in their backs, almost caught Tyrone cold in the opening moments when Enda Lynn sent Jason Rocks clear and, as he pulled the trigger, Niall Morgan pulled off a terrific save.

Tyrone worked the ball patiently, with Mattie Donnelly playing further away from goal than expected, and he provided the pass for Cathal McShane’s opening score.

Richie Donnelly followed up with a couple of long range efforts as the Red Hands eased into a three-point lead by the eighth minute.

The younger Donnelly brother was instrumental in many of his side’s offensive forays, and his vision helped them pick holes in the Oak Leaf rearguard, packed in numbers as they sought to nullify the many danger men in the Red Hand side.

The Red Hands pushed into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead with McShane claiming his second and Peter Harte knocking over a free.

But the Oak Leafers found more joy at the other end of the field, where they started to put pressure on Morgan’s kick-outs, and with a more aggressive approach, got into the faces of their opponents with some tigerish tackling.

And it worked, with Ryan Bell (fee) and McGuigan, with a delightful angled effort, narrowed the gap to three.

It got better for the Oaks, with a McGuigan free leaving just a point between the sides on the half-hour.

Straight away, though, they retreated into a rigid defensive formation, inviting Tyrone on to them, with all the risks entailed in that strategy.

And Tyrone punished them, with the rampant McShane firing over two more scores, and Michael Cassidy pushing forward claiming a debut point to send them in with a 0-10 to 0-7 interval lead.

Wing-back Michael Cassidy produced an injection of pace to begin the second half with his second point, and Tyrone were very much on the front foot, with McShane’s fisted effort bringing a smart save from ‘keeper Thomas Mallon soon afterwards.

But Derry matched their opponents point for point in the third quarter, Bell and McGuigan cancelling out scores from Hugh Pat McGeary and Harte.

And the Oak Leafers struck gold in the 55th minute with a brilliant goal. Enda Lynn, a major influence in their brave challenge sent McGuigan through, and the Slaugtneil star smashed his shot past Niall Morgan to bring his side level.

Shane McGuigan scored Derry's goal

Substitute Chrissy Bradley shot the Derrymen in front for the first time and, with 12 minutes to play, they suddenly began to believe that anything was possible.

But Tyrone had another gear to slip into, and in the final ten minutes they out-scored their opponents by 1-5 to 0-1.

Substitute Darren McCurry collected a long Frank Burns delivery to drill home a goal with the incisiveness and power of a natural finisher, and the Red Hands were on their way.

McShane stretched his haul to seven, and there were scores from Connor McAliskey, Michael McKernan and Harte as they moved through to the quarter-finals.

Tyrone: N Morgan; P Hampsey (0-01), R McNamee, M McKernan (0-01); M Cassidy (0-02), B McDonnell, T McCann; R Donnelly (0-02), B Kennedy; P Harte, N Sludden, F Burns (0-01); M Donnelly, C McShane (0-07 (2f), HP McGeary (0-1).

Subs: C Cavanagh for Kennedy (18), D McCurry (1-00 for Sludden (48), K Coney for Cavanagh (55), R Brennan for McGeary (58), C McAliskey (0-01) for R Donnelly (63), L Rafferty for McKernan (71)

Derry: T Mallon; S Quinn, B Rogers, K McKaigue; P McNeill, C McKaigue, N Keenan; P Cassidy, C McAtamney (0-01); L McGoldrick, E Lynn, C McFaul (0-01); S McGuigan (1-06, 0-5f), R Bell (0-03, 3f), J Rocks.

Subs: E Bradley for Quinn (h-t), C Bradley (0-02, 1f) for Bell (47), C Doherty for Rocks (57), R Mooney for Lynn (63), P Coney for Keenan (70), E Concannon for McGoldrick (70)

Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon)