Declan Bogue reports from Athletic Grounds, Armagh.
WITH the GAA’S Central Council voting down the controversial and little-loved restriction on hand-passing there was a more familiar look about Saturday night’s Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup final.
Unfortunately for Armagh the flow of play was disturbingly familiar too.
After profiting from three successful dead ball conversions in the first eleven minutes they found themselves 0-4 to 0-1 up and looked to be up to the pitch of the game more than their neighbours.
However, only two more points followed from then as Tyrone, fielding a much-weakened starting side, showed that they are so much further down the road in terms of decision-making once the hectic start died down.
Tempers flared in tonight’s McKenna Cup final.
Source: Philip McGowan/INPHO
Five first-half pointed frees from Darren McCurry helped them along but Armagh could have little to complain about, having committed a total of 18 fouls in the first half alone, with four of the six starting defenders booked before half-time.
The second half was a rash of bust-ups and scores exchanged, with three red cards and two of those – Tyrone’s Ronan McNamee and Armagh’s Aaron McKay, continuing to fire shots at each other even after being red carded.
Armagh had a late chance to win it with a Rory Grugan penalty after Kieran McGeary touched the ball on the ground trying to clear it off the line, but Grugan’s effort flew over the bar.
Scorers for Armagh: Niall Grimley (0-5, 4f, 1x’45′), Rory Grugan (0-5, 4f, 0-1 pen), Stefan Campbell (0-2), Rian O’Neill 0-1, Jamie Clarke 0-1m
Scorers for Tyrone: Darren McCurry (0-9, 8f), Niall Sludden (0-2), Cathal McShane 0-2, 1m), Ronan McNamee, D McClure 0-1 each, Niall Morgan (0-1f)
1. Blaine Hughes (Carrickcuppin)
2. Connaire Mackin (Shane O’Neills)
17. Aaron McKay (Dromintee)
4. James Morgan (Crossmaglen)
30. Ruairi McCaughley (Wolfe Tones)
6. Brendan Donaghy (Clonmore)
7. Greg McCabe (Shane O’Neills)
8. Stephen Sheridan (Forkhill)
9. Niall Grimley (Madden)
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10. Jemar Hall (Forkhill)
11. Rory Grugan (Ballymacnab)
12. Ryan McShane (Armagh Harps)
13. Stefan Campbell (Clann na Gael)
14. Rian O’Neill (Crossmaglen)
15. Jamie Clarke (Crossmaglen)
18. Jarlath Óg Burns (Silverbridge) for McShane (HT)
20. Joe McElroy (Armagh Harps) for Donaghy (HT)
21. Charlie Vernon (Armagh Harps) for McCabe (50m)
22. Jason Duffy for Clarke (60m)
24. Ross McQuillan (Cullyhanna) for Hall (63m)
1. Niall Morgan (Edendork)
2. Ciaran McLaughlin (Omagh)
3. Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran)
4. Liam Rafferty (Galbally)
5. Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher)
6. Aidan McCrory (Errigal Ciaran)
7. Michael Cassidy (Ardboe)
8. Conan Grugan (Omagh)
9. Declan McClure (Clonoe)
10. Niall Sludden (Dromore)
11. Ronan O’Neill (Omagh)
12. Conal McCann (Killyclogher)
13. Darren McCurry (Edendork)
14. Peter Harte (Errigal Ciaran)
15. Cathal McShane (Eoghan Roes)
20. Matthew Donnelly (Trillick) for Cassidy (43)
25. Conor Meyler (Omagh) for C McCann (43)
18. Darragh Canavan (Errigal Ciaran) for O’Neill (50)
24. Kieran McGeary (Pomeroy) for Rafferty (50)
19. Kyle Coney (Ardboe) for Grugan (61)
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)
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