Tyrone and Cavan edge wins in Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals

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Tyrone hold off Derry in Dr McKenna Cup semi-final at Omagh

Tyrone and Cavan will meet in next Saturday's Dr McKenna Cup final after overcoming strong challenges from Derry and Monaghan in Sunday's semi-finals.

Niall McKenna and Peter Harte goals helped Tyrone win 2-13 to 1-13 as Derry wasted several goal chances before Emmet McGuckin netted on 59 minutes.

Dermot Malone's early goal helped Monaghan lead by four at Enniskillen but Cavan regrouped to win 0-16 to 1-9.

Eugene Keating hit six Cavan points with sub James McEnroe also starring.

At Healy Park, Tyrone made a sensational start with McKenna's superb goal after just 15 seconds

The holders eased into a seven-point lead with scores from Darren McCurry, Connor McAliskey.

However, the Oak Leafers pulled back scores through Gerard O'Kane, Ciaran McGoldrick and Declan Mullan and they missed goal chances when McGoldrick and Aaron Kerrigan both shot wide.

Tyrone also had an opportunity for a second goal but Derry keeper Thomas Mallon saved superbly from Conan Grugan.

Tyrone led by 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval and restored their seven-point cushion when Harte netted a 42nd-minute penalty, awarded for a foul on Mattie Donnelly by goalkeeper Mallon.

Philip Tinnelly and Christopher McGuinness
Philip Tinnelly tries to burst away from Christopher McGuinness at Enniskillen

James Kielt came off the bench to shoot three long-range points but Tyrone were able to respond, with McCurry and Grugan finding the range.

After a rash of missed goal chances, the Oak Leafers finally hit the net in the 64th minute when McGuckin flicked Benny Heron's delivery past Mickey O'Neill.

Derry were reduced to 14 men for the closing minutes after Patsy Bradley was black carded with all their substitutes having already been introduced.

After PJ Lavery and Mark Lynch added further points at either end, James Kielt did have a late goal chance which would have levelled the contest but he fired badly wide.

At Enniskillen, Cavan pulled clear in the closing stages with the Breffni squad's rest in midweek after UUJ pulled out of Wednesday's scheduled fixture possibly a factor as Monaghan faded.

Ulster champions Monaghan did make the brighter start with Malone blasting to the net on five minutes after fielding a long ball from Conor Boyle.

That added to keeper Rory Beggan's opening 50-metre free and another 45 by the Monaghan custodian kept them three ahead after Keating and David Givney had opened Cavan's account.

Points at either end from Turlough Mooney and Boyle kept Monaghan three ahead but Cavan then hit four unanswered scores with wing-back Philip Tinnelly kicking two of them.

Cavan were still a point clear at the break (0-9 to 1-5) and Keating's fourth point of day doubled their lead after the restart.

A Chris McGuinness point and a Dermot Malone score brilliantly set up by a Paul Finlay pass then got Monaghan on terms again but they never managed to get parity again during the remainder of the contest after Michael Lyng restored Cavan's lead.

Points from Jack McCarron and Shane Carey did cut Cavan's lead to the minimum on two occasions but Monaghan hit the last four points of the contest to run out deserved winners.

Rory Dunne and half-time substitute McEnroe both excelled in cutting out Monaghan's attempts to instigate attacks in the second period.

But Monaghan tired in the closing stages as Cavan's midweek off appeared to give Terry Hyland's side the edge.

The final will take place at Enniskillen on Saturday evening with a 19:30 GMT throw-in.

Power NI Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals results

Tyrone 2-13 1-13 Derry

Cavan 0-16 1-09 Monaghan

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