Category: Archive

Tyrone hammer Derry

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

TYRONE 0-17, DERRY 1-5

Clearly having learned a sharp lesson from the first tie, Tyrone were in a ruthless mood as they stormed to a 9-point victory.
In mitigation, the Derry panel and management had more pertinent issues on their mind. Patricia Bateson, a cousin of one of the players, Kevin McGuckin, and a sister of county minor James and former senior Declan, was killed in a car accident just hours before the game. “It definitely affected us,” John Morrison, one of Derry’s backroom team, said afterward. “Football doesn’t matter when you get something like that.”
While Derry struggled to focus on the game, Sean Cavanagh and Peter Canavan turned the screw for the winners. Cavanagh put on an outstanding display at midfield with three points from play, while Canavan, who finished with 0-8, including seven frees, kicked superbly as Tyrone were 0-10 to 0-2 up at the interval.
While Derry manager Mickey Moran questioned the number of frees awarded to Tryone, adding that he thought referee Michael Curley was “too far behind the play,” most of the problems stemmed from his own players, who never found the fluency of the drawn match. Significantly, Paddy Bradley who had contributed so many important scores the first time out, could only kick one free and was substituted before the end.
With Tyrone’s Ryan McMenamin particularly impressive at wing-back, Derry’s only threat came from Enda Muldoon and sub Geoffrey McGonigle, who hit 1-3 in the closing stages. The losers’ prospects were hardly enhanced when another sub, Padraig O’Kane, was sent off for a rash tackle on Gerard Cavlan.
Canavan, meanwhile, was certain that Tyrone’s improved performance had come in no small amount from the scathing criticism the team took following the drawn encounter. “A lot of questions after last week, but I felt those questions were answered on the pitch,” he said. “We haven’t won any medals yet but we proved our critics wrong and we’re improving all the time.”

ANTRIM 2-9, CAVAN 1-10
Tyrone’s opponents in the Ulster semifinal were supposed to have been Cavan — according to the bookmakers’ odds anyway — but Antrim produced another championship shock to get the better of Cavan in a memorable contest at Casement Park.
Watched by the Sinn Fein president, Gerry Adams, whose son Gearoid performed well at corner-back, Antrim achieved a rare success as they held the lead for the entire game. It was a family triumph for the O’Hares — manager P.J. and his son Darren, who was making his championship debut — as the county celebrated an Ulster success for only the second time in 18 years.
P.J. O’Hare had effectively taken over the manager’s job when no one else wanted it, while Darren made his mark in fine style with both the winners’ goals, both punched efforts following high balls delivered into the square.
Cavan imploded with a total of 17 wides, while Larry Reilly was also sent off with 15 minutes left for a second yellow card offense. If it hadn’t been for a defiant individual performance by Dermot McCabe, firstly in midfield and then later at full-forward, Cavan would have been swamped.
Antrim were in front by 2-6 to 0-4 at the break thanks in the main to O’Hare’s goals, and while McCabe replied with Cavan’s only goal, Kevin Madden kept the winners on the right track with five points. “We’ve come on a great deal since we lost to Tyrone in the McKenna Cup,” said P.J. O’Hare and we can’t wait for the challenge.”

OFFALY 1-12, LAOIS 1-12
Offaly looked like they had won this Leinster football quarterfinal, then it looked like they had lost it, and then they managed to grab a last second draw through Ciaran McManus’s dramatic 45. Thing is, the many and varied ways that last Sunday’s game at Portlaoise appeared to pan out all occurred in the space of about 3 minutes.
It was another hectic finish to a compelling contest. Laois were three points down heading into injury time when Michael Lawlor kicked a point. Still seemed to be Offaly’s day, but Darren Rooney’s lofted pass up the field was spectacularly fielded by Kevin Fitzpatrick whose assist was clinically finished by Lawlor for a goal.
Suddenly trailing by a point after having led for almost all of the game, Offaly drove forward in search of an equalizer and appropriately, the chance from a 45 fell to McManus, who had earlier slammed in a magnificent goal, and the midfielder held his nerve to set up a replay for Monday.
“That was a cracking game of football,” enthused Laois manager, Mick O’Dwyer. “There’s no losers out there, no winners, but no losers. They were well on top, but we hung in, and our fellas came out in the second half and played with great fire, spirit and determination.” Asked about his side’s prospects for the replay, O’Dwyer added: “There’s room for improvement all the time, even in myself.”
Laois came into the match as undoubted favorites. Beaten league finalists and reenergized under O’Dwyer, a strong run in Leinster had been flagged for some time now. However, it was unheralded Offaly, with Finbarr Cullen in the starting lineup, and veteran Vinny Claffey on the bench — neither played had figured in the league campaign — who dominated for much of what was a highly entertaining encounter.
With a full-forward line of Pascal Kelleghan, John Reynolds and minor star Niall McNamee in excellent form, Offaly were 5 points clear at the changeover following McManus’s fine goal which came at the end of a charging run and fierce shot from 20 meters.
Equally, with Cathal Daly delivering yet another assured performance in defense, the Laois attackers were kept in check despite the best efforts of Lawlor and Ross Munnelly. But gradually, Laois worked their way back into contention to draw level midway through the second had, only for Colm Quinn’s frees to move Offaly ahead once more.
If Laois were the luckier of the teams, Offaly might now be thinking they could have missed a great opportunity. “We have some outstanding young players,” said manager Paul O’Kelly, “and these guys have a great future. When the future happens for them is another question.”

Kildare was unconvincing. They got a win in this Leinster football quarterfinal in Mullingar, but there will hardly be a surfeit of confidence heading into the semifinal against either Meath or Westmeath. In fact, it was only a late Tadhg Fennin goal and a couple of late points that saw the Lilywhites through to the next round.
Longford have to be content with a route through the qualifiers, but while they were highly competitive, a one dimensional game plan ultimately cost them what would have been a memorable victory.
Although Kildare took some time to adjust to the long ball pumped in toward Niall Sheridan, their defenders eventually began to cope with the threat, but that wasn’t before both Sheridan and Trevor Smullen had each struck for a goal to leave Longford ahead by 2-4 to 0-7 at halftime.
As the Longford tactic lost its surprise value, Kildare finally came to life, with Killian Brennan making a positive impact at midfield. Longford had to rely on two superb saves by goalkeeper Gavin Tonra, but they still contrived to be level 4 minutes from the end. However, Fennin fired over a free and he then capitalised on an uncharacteristic error by Dermot Brady to shoot home the vital goal. Sub Padraig Hurley added another point, and Kildare were safe.
“We knew it was going to be very tricky, especially in that we had a young team,” said winning manager Padraig Nolan. “We were always confident that if we got a big enough pull in the middle of the field that our forwards would put the scores on the board. This will make training a lot sweeter for the next few weeks.”
As for Longford, manager Denis Connerton called it a “major effort” by his players. “Kildare might be a changed team but they’re the Leinster finalists and still a very good side,” he said. “We made a couple of errors in the second half, but even in defeat I have to be very proud of the team.”

The last time the footballers of Waterford won a championship game was in 1988, but this season it seemed as if that run of defeats might just change. Waterford had Tipp in their sights, but they had forgotten about Declan Browne.
Without question, Ireland’s best player from outside the traditionally strong counties, Browne once more proved to be the difference between the teams as his 11-point total steered Tipperary to victory in last Sunday’s Munster quarterfinal at Walsh Park.
For a time, Waterford’s bid to stifle Browne’s talents looked to have succeeded as corner-forward John Aherne dropped back to act as an extra defender. However, the Tipp marksman soon found the range and his seven frees and four points from play were the feature of game from which Waterford can take some heart.
Waterford were very much in the game at the interval, and with Connie Power converting a penalty, it was 1-4 to 0-7 going into the second half. But in the space of 6 minutes after the break, Browne scored 4 points before Dave Fanning gave the winners a 5-point lead which Waterford were unable to claw back.

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