Dr McKenna Cup: Tyrone and Derry earn comfortable semi-final wins

McKenna Cup

Five-in-a-row seeking Tyrone will meet Derry in the Dr McKenna Cup final in Armagh next Saturday after both earned comfortable semi-final wins on Sunday.

Fermanagh led the Red Hands 0-3 to 0-0 but Connor McAliskey's goal helped Tyrone win 1-13 to 0-9 with Erne star Eoin Donnelly's red card a factor.

Ryan Bell's first-half penalty put Derry on the way to their 1-17 to 1-10 victory over Cavan at Armagh.

Killian Clarke hit Cavan's second-half goal but it was a mere consolation.

An upset looked on the cards early on at Clones as Fermanagh's 2015 All-Star nominee Sean Quigley hit the opening three points but after Mark Bradley opened Tyrone's account in the 16th minute, the Red Hands fought back to level at 0-4 to 0-4 by half-time.

Peter McGrath says Eoin Donnelly's red card deflated Fermanagh in McKenna semi

The half-time introduction of Sean Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly and Ronan McNamee added further impetus to the Red Hand performance.

Frees from McAliskey and Bradley edged Tyrone two ahead before Fermanagh suffered a major blow when midfielder Eoin Donnelly - who had been arguably the best player on the pitch - was sent off after getting a second yellow card.

A Cavanagh point helped Tyrone extend their lead to five and any slim prospect of a Fermanagh fightback was ended when McAliskey volleyed to the net after the Erne keeper could only palm out a flicked Cavanagh effort.

Tyrone's Rory Brennan received a straight red card in the closing stages after a clash with Fermanagh's Ciaran Flaherty but it made no difference as the Red Hands held on for a comfortable win.

Ryan Bell stars for Derry in win over Cavan

Damian Barton delighted with Derry progress as they win McKenna Cup semi-final

Derry were equally emphatic winners at Armagh as they reached their first McKenna Cup decider in five years.

Damian Barton's side scored 1-4 in a six-minute spell in the first half to take control, man of the match Bell slotting a penalty after 21 minutes as he finished with 1-5, with all his points coming from play.

The sides were level four times in the first quarter, with Gearoid McKiernan's left-footed wonder point from near the touchline putting Cavan ahead 0-4 to 0-3 after 15 minutes.

From there, Derry completely took over and outscored the Breffni side by 1-7 to 0-2 in the 20 minutes before half time.

Derry dominated around the middle and broke forward in numbers, moving the ball at pace in an eye-catching display as James Kielt, Conor Kearns and Enda Lynn (two) also all scored from play.

Cavan's Killian Clarke tackles Derry's Enda Lynn at the Athletic Grounds
Enda Lynn was part of an impressive Derry attack at the Athletic Grounds

Cavan manager Terry Hyland responded by bringing on Eugene Keating, who recently returned to the squad after opting out last year, and Niall McDermott to sharpen his attack for the second half.

The Breffni scored of the first three points after the break through Jack Brady (free) and Conor Moynagh but Derry never looked like being caught.

Cavan did score a goal in the 53rd minute with a tidy finish from Clarke but Derry continued to largely dominate with Bell and full-forward partner Cailean O'Boyle both scoring superb long-range points.

Seanie Johnston hit a late point, which was his first score since his return to the Cavan team for the first time since 2011 but Derry were comfortable winners.

Bank of Ireland McKenna Cup semi-finals

Tyrone 1-13 0-9 Fermanagh

Derry 1-17 1-10 Cavan