Last Ulster Minor League goes to Tyrone

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Last Ulster Minor League goes to Tyrone thumbnailTyrone U17 team captain, Cormac Munroe, and minor team captain, Peter Og McCartan, with their respective Ulster Minor League trophies.

TYRONE are the last ever winners of the Ulster Minor Football League, annexing the title at Glenn with a strong second half showing.


Minor football will be replaced by an U17 grade next season, so this was a significant day for under-age football, and another important milestone for the county.

It was only in the second period that the Red Hands stepped up the tempo and took the game to their opponents.

They trailed by two points at the break, but were the dominant force after the restart in this dress rehearsal for next month s Ulster Championship clash of the counties.

We felt at half-time, a lot of the things that we had tried to do weren t working for us, we were two points down, and we honestly felt that we hadn t performed, and that if we could get the lads to lift eh intensity a bit in the second half, we would be there or thereabouts, said joint manager Iggy Gallagher

At the end there was only the kick of a ball between the teams, and we knew that. There s gonna be no big winners in Celtic Park, it s gonna be a kick of a ball here or there.

The Trillick man was disappointed with the first half display, but encouraged by a revival after the break.

They were winning the ball in the middle of the field in the first half, which was forcing us back.

The second half, we gained more possession in the middle of the field, which gave us a chance to drive forward, and I suppose that was the difference at the end of the day.

First half, we had a number of chances that we made poor use of. In the second half, we were fairly economical.

Peter Og McCartan s 12th minute goal came against the run of play, and kept the Red Hands in touch, even though they failed to add a single score for the remainder of the first half.

That was the last thing we did in the first half. Once we scored the goal, we seemed to down tools.

Up to that, we were in the game, but after that we were horrible. But at the end of the day we proved that we can compete with them, if nothing else.

Gallagher conceded that Derry were the better team for significant spells.

They were totally what we expected, and in some ways, over the hour, they were possibly the better team.

There s going to be very little between the teams when we get to Celtic Park.

In the first half, gaining possession around the middle of the field was a battle for us.

Our workrate and intensity, those are things that you can work on in training, but you don t actually know if you re actually going to deliver them until the game starts.

In the first half, the game was getting away from us, but in the second half, we got that intensity up, things started to snowball after that, and we seemed to get the break of the ball.

James Morgan slotted a couple of early Tyrone points, but the Oak Leafers responded through wing back Odhran Quinn.

Fearghal Motimer and Richie Mullan were also on target, but in the 12th minute, Tyrone struck for a goal on the counter-attack.

It was skipper Peter O McCartan who charged in from halfway to smash his shot to the roof of the net.

But that was Tyrone s last score of the half. McCarron converted a free, before a McGrogan free, followed by a Richie Mullan point, sent Derry in with a 0-7 to 1-2 lead.

Tyrone went on the attack in the second half, pushing more men forward, pressing Cahir Goodwin and McCartan into attacking roles.

Within seven minutes of the restart they had taken the lead. PT Cunningham curled over a fine score, and Oran Mallon brought the sides level with a 45.

A superb Goodwin score eased them ahead, and Derry had to work extremely hard for Conor McCluskey s 40th minute point, one of just two they managed in the second half.

Matthew McGuigan won the free that he converted himself to open up a two points gap, which was always going to be significant in such a low-scoring game.

And a sweeping move involving Damien McGuigan and Canavan ended with Cunningham firing over his second point.

Derry had to lay the final seven minutes with just 14 players after substitute Lorcan Spier picked up a second booking, and the Red Hands finished with another Mallon score.

Derry scorers: Mark McGrogan (2 frees), Richie Mullan 0-2 each, Odhran Quinn, Fearghal Mortimer, Ben McCarron (free), Conor McCluskey, Damon Gallagher (free) 0-1 each.

Tyrone scorers: Peter Og McCartan 1-0, James Morgan, PT Cunningham, Oran Mallon (1 45) 0-2 each, Darragh Canavan, Matthew McGuigan (free), Cahir Goodwin 0-1 each.

Derry: Oran Hartin; Conleth McShane, Oran Magill, Sean McKeever; Simon McErlean, Padraig McGrogan, Odhran Quinn; Declan Cassidy, Dara Rafferty; Fearghal Mortimer, Richie Mullan, Jon Paul Devlin; Patrick Quigg, Mark McGrogan, Ben McCarron.

Subs: Cormac Murphy for Mullan, Alex Doherty for Devlin, Lorcan Spier for Quigg, Conor McCluskey for Mortimer (BC), Damon Gallagher for McGrogan.

Tyrone: Lorcan Quinn; Ciaran Breen, Antoin Fox, Peadar Mullan; Conall Grimes, Cahir Goodwin, Damien McGuigan; Oran Mallon, Peter Og McCartan; Matthew McGuigan, James Morgan, Damien Millar; Jude Campbell, PT Cunningham, Darragh Canavan.

Subs: Ruairi Gormley for Morgan, Cathaoir Gallagher for Canavan.

Referee: Joe Corcoran (Fermanagh).


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