Dr McKenna Cup: Tyrone and Derry win Section A openers

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Dr McKenna Cup action starts GAA season as Derry beat Antrim

Holders Tyrone got their defence of the McKenna Cup off to a winning start by beating Queen's University 3-17 to 0-11 in the Section A opener at Healy Park.

Goals from man-of-the-match Ronan O'Neill, Johnny Munroe and Connor McAliskey sealed the students' fate but Kieran McGeary was sent-off late on.

Derry saw off Antrim 4-16 to 2-12 with debutant Shane Heavron scoring two goals in a man-of-the match display.

Liam McGoldrick and Emmett McGuckin with a penalty also found the net.

Tomas McCann scored a goal in each half for the Saffrons, who are now under the joint management of Frank Fitzsimons and Gearoid Adams.

Queen's belied the difficult conditions at Omagh by making a strong start, easing into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead after 15 minutes, with Antrim's Ryan Murray hitting three points.

Lee Brennan's accuracy from frees saw Tyrone claw back the deficit, the Trillick man hitting their first five points.

Michael Monan of Queen's and Tyrone's Conor Clarke contest for possession at Healy Park
Michael Monan of Queen's and Tyrone's Conor Clarke contest for possession at Healy Park

And in the 25th minute, O'Neill slotted home a goal to send the home side in with a 1-10 to 0-6 interval lead.

The Red Hands continued to dominate, and effectively killed the game off with a second goal, rifled home through a cluster of bodies by substitute Munroe in the 48th minute.

Tyrone had to play the final 20 minutes with 14 men following McGeary's second booking, but they saw the game out with scores from Peter Harte, Hugh Pat McGeary and Justin McMahon, before McAliskey fired in a stoppage time goal.

Derry ensured that new manager Damien Barton got his reign off to a winning start by dominating their match at Owenbeg.

First-half goals from McGoldrick and Heavron helped the Oak Leafers to a 2-8 to 1-7 half-time lead.

Heavron added his second just 10 seconds into the second half after a long ball from the impressive James Kielt, and McGuckin converted a penalty.

In the second round of Section A matches, Antrim host Queen's on Wednesday night and Derry face Tyrone next Sunday.

Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup Results

Section A

Derry 4-16 2-12 Antrim

Tyrone 3-17 0-11 Queen's

Section B

Donegal 1-11 0-11 Down

Fermanagh P-P St Mary's College

Section C

Armagh 0-11 2-08 Cavan

Monaghan 1-09 2-16 Ulster University

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