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21st Jan 2023

Tyrone’s problems remain as Derry ease past them in McKenna Cup final

Lee Costello

Tyrone Derry

Derry 3-11 1-05 Tyrone.

Tyrone’s hopes to rectify the wrongs of last season have been dampened by a poor performance in the McKenna Cup final against Derry.

In a team that saw Darren McCurry return to the starting line up and boast other quality stars such as captain Padraig Hampsey and former Footballer of the Year Kieran McGeary, Derry still ran rampant.

The scoreline was 7-1 in favour of the oak leaf county in the first half, but things did take a turn for the better in the second.

Tyrone Derry

The red Hand county found some intensity, attacked from the start and a Darren McCurry goal saw them bring things level with just over 15 minutes to go.

However, a penalty was awarded when Niall Morgan rushed out of his goal line with a bit too much enthusiasm and fouled the opposition forward.

Once converted by Shane McGuigan, Tyrone looked stretched and desperate as two more goals quickly followed and it really could have been more.

Tyrone Derry

It’s important to contextualise the game, it’s only the McKenna Cup and last year Derry themselves had a disappointing tournament only to bounce back and win the Ulster Championship.

It was McCurry’s first start since coming home from holidays so he will still be finding his feet, Darragh Canavan was cup tied with Sigerson duties and we’re still awaiting the introduction of his exciting younger brother Ruairi, who is out with injury.

No one will be counting McKenna Cup medals when they finish their careers, but after their confidence hit rock bottom last season, Tyrone really would have wanted to put in performance here that they could build on.

Tyrone Derry

They play Roscommon in the opening game of their National League campaign next week, and it is one of the more favourable fixtures so they will want to quickly turn up the tempo there.

Derry on the other hand, are showing the sort of ruthlessness that saw them reach the All-Ireland semi-final last season, as well as pick up an Ulster title.

They will see Conor Glass and Ethan Doherty return to the panel after Glen’s All-Ireland club final on Sunday, so they will only get stronger.

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