ULSTER CH'SHIP: Tyrone brush Derry side for second successive season

Tyrone's Peter Harte treis to get away from Derry's Niall Keenan.
Tyrone's Peter Harte treis to get away from Derry's Niall Keenan.
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Ulster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final

Derry 0-11, Tyrone 0-22

Tyrone's Ronan McNamee comes under pressure from Derry's Niall Loughlin.

Tyrone's Ronan McNamee comes under pressure from Derry's Niall Loughlin.

Tyrone will face Donegal in the Ulster Championship semi-final after Derry were brushed aside for the second successive season in a disappointingly one sided clash at Celtic Park on Sunday.

Tyrone built an early five point lead and while Derry rallied they couldn't close that gap before half-time. A brief revival saw the Oak Leafers bring it back to three points in the third quarter but Tyrone hit 11 points in the final 22 minutes to ease though without having to hit top gear.

Derry started with Emmet McGuckin and Chrissy McKaigue at midfield although the latter was detailed for a man marking job on Mattie Donnelly.

It meant Conor McAtameney and Enda Lynn dropped in to the half-back line in the hope that they could join Oak Leaf attacks from deep and act as 'line breakers' but they rarely got the chance as Tyrone dominated the opening 25 minutes.

Peter Harte uncharacteristically missed two easily chances inside the opening 90 seconds but from there Tyrone were sharper, their support play better with more defensive discipline than the home side.

Tyrone, as expected stationed Sean Cavanagh at full forward with Brendan Rogers picking him up but the Slaughtneil could do little as the Moy man contributed half of Tyrone's first tally tally with five frees.

Indeed, only six of the entire first half scores came from play as both team flooded their own 45 and looked to break out at pace after turnovers.

It worked well for Tyrone but Derry's attack lacked the pace to trouble the Red Hand defensive wall through they managed to stay in touch thanks to a couple of excellent Niall Loguhlin scores.

The omens were ominous from the first whistle for Damian Barton's team. Inside 12 minutes Tyrone had established a five point lead and squandered three other very easy chances. Mark Bradley's constant movement and running was causing Karl McKaigue problems but, as in previous encounters, the Red Hands' ability to get beyond Derry's initial defensive line left anything up to five Oak Leaf back out of the game too often.

Two Cavanagh frees, one from Conall McCann, another from Peter Harte and Bradley with the game's first score from play on 12 minutes put Tyrone in the box seat and they rarely looked uncomfortable in the opening 25 minutes.

Derry's opening score was a Loughlin free on 15 minutes and in fairness, they matched Tyrone score for score in the second quarter.

However, Tyeon ability to reply to a Derry point with one of their own meant at no point did Derry look like reeling the visitors in.

Loughlin (2) Ciaran McFaul and Danny Heavron all hit the target for Derry but in response Cavanagh (three frees), Rory Brennan and Tiernan McCann meant Derry were always at arm's length in a first half that never really caught fire.

Whatever was said within the Derry half-time dressing room it had the desired effect as the Oak Leaf intensity was ramped up.

Sharper tackling and quicker break saw corner back Niall Keenan grab the half's opening score. Cavanagh responded with his first from play before Enda Lynn and a Benny Heron free left it 0-11 to 0-8.

Tyrone could have put the game to bed when Aidan McCrory found himself through on goal but he was denied twice by brilliant saves. First Derry keeper Ben McKinless superbly blocked his initial effort before, with the goal empty, Niall Keenan somehow got back on the line to dive full length and divert his shot away for a 45.

Peter Harte sent the '45; between the posts and when Cavanagh got another free, the visitors'' lead was back to five points.

The failure to eat into the Tyrone lead saw the home assault visibly wilt as substitutes David Mulgrew and Darren McCurry took thr game away from the home side if it hand't already gone.

As that second half salvo subsided, Tyrone moved through the gears, McCurry helping himself to to two further points as Tyrone cantered toward an Ulster semi-final against Donegal.

DERRY: Ben McKinless; Niall Keenan (0-1), Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue; Ciaran McFaul (0-1), Chrissy McKaigue, Carlus McWilliams (0-1); Conor McAtameny, Danny Heavron (0-1, 1f); Ryan Bell, Niall Loughlin (0-4, 3f), Enda Lynn (0-1); Danny Tallon, Emmett McGuckin, Benny Heron (0-1, 1f).

(Subs) Mark Lynch for R Bell, 47mins; Shane McGuigan (0-1, 1f) for D Tallon, 56mins; Gavin O'Neill for E McGuckin, 63mins; Michael McEvoy for B Heron, 63mins; Conor Nevin for C McAtamney, 58mins;

TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Aidan McCrory, Ronan McNamee, Padraig Hampsey; Tiernan McCann (0-1), Rory Brennan (0-1), Peter Harte (0-2, 1f, 1 forty-five); Colm Cavanagh (0-1), Conall McCann (0-2); Kieran McGeary, Niall Sludden, Conor Meyler; Mark Bradley (0-1), Sean Cavanagh (0-7, 6f), Mattie Donnelly.

(Subs) Frank Burns for K McGeary, 28mins; Ronan McNabb for C Meyler, H/T; Darren McCurry (0-3) for M Bradley, 51mins; Declan McClure (0-1) for N Sludden, 61mins; Lee Brennan (0-3) for S Cavanagh, 63mins;

Black Card: Frank Burns, 54mins - replaced by David Mulgrew (0-1)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)