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Seniors suffer first McKenna Cup loss since March 2011

By tyronepro Mon 9th Jan

Dr McKenna Cup
Cavan 1-13 Tyrone 0-12
report from
By Orla Bannon at Kingspan Breffni Park
Dr McKenna Cup holders Tyrone suffered a rare defeat in the competition and were left counting the cost of a bruising opening round loss to Cavan,
Both sides finished with 14 men at Kingspan Breffni Park with, Tyrone Allstar Mattie Donnelly receiving a straight red card in the 66th minute, while 10 minutes earlier Niall McDermott was dismissed for picking up a second yellow card.
Tyrone also lost three players to injury – a suspected cruciate knee injury for Connor McAliskey the most worrying for manager Mickey Harte.
It was a dream start for new Cavan boss Mattie McGleenan, whose side scored the only goal of the game through Gerard Smith after 19 minutes.
In front of a healthy 4,266 attendance, Seanie Johnston scored the first point after five minutes and the home side never trailed.
Smith’s goal in the 19th minute put clear daylight between them for the first time.
Cavan substitute Paul O’Connor was on the field a matter a few seconds when he split the Tyrone defence finding Smith in space, and the forward fisted the ball over Niall Morgan’s head. The Tyrone goalkeeper got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out of the net.
Cavan scored 1-2 without reply, Tyrone failing to score for 17 minutes – during which time the Red Hands lost both Michael Cassidy (ankle) and his replacement Rory Brennan (shoulder) to injury.
Tyrone slowly worked their way back into the game through McAliskey’s four-point haul in the first half, including three from frees.
Newcomer Cahir McCullagh scored their only other point of the first half, but Cavan hit three of the last four points before the break to lead 1-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
Lee Brennan scored twice for Tyrone in the third quarter, but Cavan were able to keep a healthy margin ahead with Johnston’s second-half frees keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
A few minor spats erupted in the second half and Niall McDermott was the first to be sent-off after picking up a second yellow card in the 56th minute.
Later Mattie Donnelly connected with Seanie Johnston off-the-ball and on the advice of a linesman, was sent off by referee Martin McNally.
A minute later, Johnston was sent-off for a black card offence close to the Cavan goals.
With Tyrone searching for a goal, Niall Sludden’s goal-bound shot was well blocked and at the other end, Michael Argue came on at full-forward and hit two late points to ensure a home win.
Tyrone, who are chasing a sixth McKenna Cup title in a row, will play UUJ in Omagh on Saturday, while Cavan travel to Donegal next Sunday.
Scorers for Cavan: G Smith 1-2, S Johnston 0-4 (3fs), M Argue 0-2, M Reilly 0-1, P O’Connor 0-1, T Corr 0-1, K Brady 0-1, N McDermott 0-1 (f).
Scorers for Tyrone: C McAlliskey 0-5 (3fs), L Brennan 0-3 (1fs), R O’Neill 0-2 (2fs), C McCullagh 0-1, P Harte 0-1.
Cavan: J Farrelly; F Reilly, K Clarke, K Brady; C Brady, J Dillon, P Faulkner; L Buchanan, S Tierney; M Reilly, T Corr, G Smith; S Johnston, N McDermott, N Clerkin
Subs: P O’Connor for Buchanan (18), M Argue for Tierney (HT), T Mooney for Dillon (44), S O’Rourke for Corr (47), J McLoughlin for O’Connor (62), C Smith for Johnston (BC, 68).
Tyrone: N Morgan; A McCrory, J Munroe, R McNabb; M Cassidy, T McCann, N Sludden; D McClure, P McNulty; D McCurry, P Harte, C McCullagh; L Brennan, C McAlliskey, R O’Neill
Subs: R Brennan for Cassidy (15), HP McGeary for R Brennan (30), M Donnelly for McNulty (HT), R McHugh for McCurry (57), N McKenna for McAlliskey (62).
Referee: M McNally (Monaghan).

By tyronepro Mon 9th Jan

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