Tyrone did what they mostly do in January – win a McKenna Cup semi-final – when they got past Cavan at Breffni Park on Saturday.
The 2021 All-Ireland champions have dominated this competition for the past decade and they have once again blazed a path to the decider – a ninth since 2012 – with minimal effort – Darragh Canavan (0-4) and Cathal McShane (0-3 ). ) groundbreaking.
After falling three points behind, they took a four lead, but a tenacious Cavan side cut the gap to a minimum before Tyrone pulled away by three points in injury time to win 0-15, 0-10.
Co-manager Brian Dooher may have had the equivalent clash in mind last year (Cavan won 1:15, 0:5 against a Tyrone side who had just returned from team leave) when he said it was “important to wrap up those early games get ready for the league.”
“Our ultimate goal was to win four games in the McKenna Cup and we’re going to win four games,” said Dooher, who was impressed by veterans Mattie Donnelly, Richie Donnelly and the outstanding Michael McKernan.
“Mattie has been great for us this year, whether he started or came on, he did everything he was asked to do and tonight was no different, he came on, got things sorted and got a score too.
“Richie has worked very hard in the pre-season and his last three appearances have been a reflection of the work he has put in.
If he keeps this up, he’ll only get better.
“Michael worked hard, got a few points too I think, did what Michael can do. He made a great game but we have to give credit to everyone.
“We weren’t that patient in the first half, we gave away too much ball and probably got used to the conditions a bit. But overall we started well in the second half, played a bit shakily in the middle and then finished quite well.”
Dooher’s counterpart Mickey Graham, meanwhile, was happy with the McKenna Cup campaign.
“We’ve suspended a lot of game-time players in the last three games. I think we fielded 32 players so we have to say we would be thrilled with that end of things and have a few more bodies to come back.
“We just have to make sure we get back the guys who carry punches and get them right because they’re key players for us.”
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/gaa/brian-dooher-pleased-with-progress-as-tyrone-see-off-cavan-to-book-a-mckenna-cup-final-date-with-derry-42290500.html Brian Dooher was delighted with the progress as Tyrone referred Cavan to book a McKenna Cup final date with Derry