Derry minors defeat Tyrone after improved second half in Owenbeg

Ulster Minor Football League
Eamon Young was on the scoreboard as Derry Minors defeated Tyrone in Owenbeg.  Photo: George Sweeney. DER23118GS – 78Eamon Young was on the scoreboard as Derry Minors defeated Tyrone in Owenbeg.  Photo: George Sweeney. DER23118GS – 78
Eamon Young was on the scoreboard as Derry Minors defeated Tyrone in Owenbeg. Photo: George Sweeney. DER23118GS – 78

Derry 0-12 Tyrone 0-9

Derry came from four points down at half time to eventually wear down a gritty Tyrone team at breezy Owenbeg on Wednesday evening.

A strong wind blew towards the main entrance and Tyrone had first advantage, leading by 0-7 to 0-3 at the break. In truth, but for some wayward shooting by Gerry Donnelly’s team the margin should have been greater.

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Tyrone defended well but as Derry narrowed the gap the Red Hands were forced to open up a bit more. Derry didn’t get their noses in front until the 58 th minute with Banagher’s Chris McCullagh the scorer. With James Sargent – one five survivors from last year All Ireland winning team - superb at midfield, Tyrone had nothing left as the well organised Oak Leafs hit the last three points of the game in the final six minutes which included four added.

A good attendance braved the bitter cold as Derry backed up their opening 0-14 to 0-1 victory over Armagh four days earlier at Dusilly. Damian McErlain’s side started well against the elements and took a first minute lead through Eamon Young. Tyrone’s Jamie Concannon hit two of his three long range points in the opening seven minutes with Luke Grant setting up Ger Dillon in between.

Derry were to add just one more point in the half as their short passing game played into the hands of the tight Tyrone rearguard and the visitors were two in front when Garbhan McIvor got only Derry’s only other point of the half in the 20th minute. Concannon, Liam McGeary and Shea McDermott picking off further

scores for a 0-7 to 0-3 lead.

It was the 37th minute before Derry raised a white flag on the resumption but Tyrone were breaking at pace as Liam McGeary got their second last point with 20 minutes remaining. Derry were wasteful as they took time to harness the ever stiffening wind but with Steelstown’s Ronan Canavan anchoring a solid home defence, Tyrone’s scoring options were limited.

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In the 42nd minute Sargent hit monster point but it took a further seven minutes of constant pressure before the next score came, though was a wonderful point from a tight angle by Loup’s Dylan Rocks to leave just a score between them after a period of pressure that saw Young and Ruairi Biggs both passed up goal chances.

A good Tyrone break and a fine score by Lorcan McMurray left the visitors two in front but with Sargent bossing midfield and the Tyrone defence beginning to

creak Niall Mackle closed the gap back to a point.

Dylan Rocks, who was causing the Tyrone defence all kinds of pressure, levelled the game and it was now Derry’s to lose. As the Tyrone defence opened up McErlain’s men began to get runners in behind. Half back McCullagh gave them the lead point, Rocks added another classy point and corner back Padraig O’Kane, with the goal at his mercy and the Tyrone defence nowhere to be seen, took the safe option of a point to seal victory.

Derry scorers: Dylan Rocks 0-3, Ger Dillon 0-2,1f, James Sargent 0-2, Padraig O’Kane, Chris McCllagh, Eamon Young and Garbhan McIvor 0-1 each.

Tyrone scorers: Jamie Concannon 0-3, Liam McGeary 0-2, Lorcan MMurray, Peter Colton, Darragh Devlin ad Shea McDermott 0-1 each.

Derry: Jack McCloy, Padraig O’Kane, Ronan Canavan, Rian Collins, Chris McCullagh, Luke Grant, Dara McGuckin, Turlough McHugh, James Sargent, Eamon Young, Ger Dillon, Niall Mackle, Garbhan McIvor, Ruairi Biggs, Dylan Rocks. (Subs) Cathair McBride for McHugh, Kevin Barry Mullan for McGuckin, Caoimhin Hargan for Mackle; Codi Rocks for Biggs.

Tyrone: Oisin Watson, Paul McGinley, Padraig Goodman, Aodhan Quinn, Davin McKeown, Padraig Donaghy, Jamie Concannon, Fionn McHugh, Enda Donaghy, Lorcan McMurray, Peter Colton, Sean Og Teague, Liam McGeary, Darragh Devlin, Shea McDermott. Sub Thomas Meehan for Teague.

Referee: Mark Turley (Down)

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