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Tyrone’s Mark Donnelly blasts the ball through the Cavan defence for the Red Hands’ first goal in their convincing Dr McKenna Cup defeat of the Breffnimen at Healy Park in Omagh on Saturday night
The Irish News Archive and PA

The Irish News - January 25 2010: Dr McKenna Cup Group B: Tyrone 2-17 Cavan 1-4

Through the Healy Park gloom, Tyrone’s precocious youngsters shone once more and piled more pressure on manager Mickey Harte as he mulls over squad selection ahead of the National Football League.

The Red Hand boss will have the luxury of being forced to omit several players who would comfortably make the cut in other counties.

On Saturday evening at Healy Park, the attacking unit featured just one established player, Stephen O’Neill, and still managed to rack up an impressive 2-17 tally, with the former Footballer of the Year contributing just two points to that total, both from frees.

The half-forward line was made up entirely of members of the 2008 All-Ireland-winning minor team, and Mattie Donnelly, Niall McKenna and Peter Harte did enough to suggest that they could be there for the long haul.

And in the corners, Mark Donnelly and Eoin McCusker shared a 2-6 haul, with Carrickmore attacker Donnelly netting both goals, one in each half. For Cavan, this was a third straight defeat, and while manager Tommy Carr is awaiting the return of a raft of players from injury, rest and unavailability, he clearly has plenty of work do to.

Tyrone:J Curran; D Carlin, Justin McMahon, PJ Quinn; Joe McMahon, C McElholm, R McNabb (0-1); M Murphy (0-2), K Hughes; N McKenna (0-2), P Harte, Mattie Donnelly (0-3, 0-1 free); E McCusker (0-4), Stephen O’Neill (0-2, 0-2 frees), Mark Donnelly (2-2).

Subs:Sean O’Neill (0-1, free) for McElholm (17), M Swift for Quinn (17), C McGurk for Justin McMahon (55), K Coney for Stephen O’Neill (63), E McGinley for Hughes (65).

Cavan:F Reilly; K Lynch, T Corr, E Smith; M Cahill (0-1), J McCutcheon, M McKeever; N Walsh, E McGuigan; N Madden, G Smith (0-2), A Clarke (1-0); D O’Dowd, S Brady (0-1, free), C Smith.

Subs:M Johnston for McGuigan (31), P Reilly for Johnston (41), J McCabe for Brady (47), J Jordan for Smith (53), J Cunningham for McCutcheon (64).

Yellow cards:N Madden (20), M Cahill (38).

Referee:S McGonagle (Donegal)

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