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Tyrone ease past Cavan to reach McKenna Cup last four

Peter Harte hit seven points in Tyrone's massive win over Cavan
Kevin Carney at Kingspan Breffni

Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup Section A: Cavan 0-7 Tyrone 2-22

IT was men against boys as Tyrone cruised their way into the semi-finals of the Dr McKenna Cup last night.

In what was a veritable cakewalk, the visitors demolished their toothless hosts and, despite spurning four gilt-edged goal chances, amassed a 0-11 to 0-1 interval lead.

Cavan never looked like a side capable of reprising their victory in last year’s corresponding tie – their first competitive win at senior level over Tyrone since 2001.

Tyrone showed their intent in the sixth minute when Frank Burns saw his shot hit the Cavan crossbar. Moments later Peter Harte burst through with intent but eschewed his goal chance by fisting over.

Tyrone continued to lord it with their hosts only managing a 20th minute point from half-back Conor Brady as the visitors led 0-5 to 0-1.

The omens weren’t good for Cavan when in-form, go-to full-forward Niall McKiernan was drafted in shortly after the start of the second quarter to try and resuscitate an ailing midfield.

Sadly for the Blues, Pádraig Hampsey did a brilliant job on policing the Lacken Celtic clubman who top-scored for his county in the opening two games in this year’s competition.

The first half was little more than a training spin for the visitors and there was no change on the restart either with Cavan desperately searching for a tonic.

Bryan Magee converted a free (40) to end a 20-minute barren period for Cavan but normal service was soon restored with a brace of Harte.

Tyrone goalkeeper Morgan saved (44) at point-blank range from centre-back Ciarán Brady when Cavan created their only goal chance of the night.

Amazingly, Tyrone waited until the closing minutes to put the icing on the cake with goals in the 63rd minute and 72nd minutes from Niall Sludden and Mattie Donnelly respectively.

Cavan: J Farrelly; D Phillips, D Monahan, D Kennedy; Conor Brady (0-1), Ciarán Brady (0-1), O Kiernan (0-1); T Galligan, P Faulkner; J Wharton, E Flanagan, N Clerkin; C Bradley, N McKiernan (0-1), B Magee (0-2, 0-1 free).

Subs: D Brady for C Bradley (33); P Moore for J Wharton (h-t); C Moynagh for N Clerkin (41); D McIntyre (0-1) for Conor Brady (43); P Gilchreest for T Galligan (55).

Yellow card: C Daly (53); N McKiernan (64)

Black card: E Flanagan (48) replaced by C Daly

Tyrone: N Morgan; B Burns, P Hampsey, HP McGeary; M McKernan, T McCann, R McNab; C McShane, P McNulty; M Donnelly (1-1), N Sludden (1-2), P Harte (0-7, 0-4 frees); L Brennan (0-5, 0-3 frees), F Burns, R O’Neill (0-6, 0-2 frees).

Subs: C McCarron for P Hampsey (45); C McLaughlin for R M Nab (46); C McCann for C McShane (47); R McHugh (0-1) for P Harte (51); R Donnelly for P McNulty (58); M Cassidy for T McCann (67).

Yellow cards: N Sludden (21); C McShane (36)

Ref: N Cullen (Fermanagh)

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