Derry Vs Tyrone – 2012 Ulster GAA Dr Mc Kenna Cup Final

After defeats in 2010 to Donegal and in 2011 to Derry, Tyrone managed to get their hands back on the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup on Saturday night after defeating Derry in an entertaining game in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh.

It was quite a different Tyrone side that started on Saturday night compared to that which was defeated by Derry in last year’s Dr. Mc Kenna Cup final and the change is definitely for the better with a lot of new young blood starting to rise through the Tyrone ranks.

It’s fair to say that Tyrone didn’t get off to the best of starts as after 15 mins they were down 1-05 t0 0-01. However, after a few off the ball niggles, Derry were reduced to 14 men as James Conway was sent off for a hard challenge on Colm Cavanagh who was then deemed unable to carry on for any more of the game. Things begin to swing in favour of Tyrone from then on with scores coming from Peter Hughes, Mickey Murphy and then a goal from Owen Mulligan right before half time to leave it 1-05 apiece at the break.

The second half was a less intense affair than the first as Derry realised they couldn’t afford to have any more of their players sent to the line. Excellent performances from Joe Mc Mahon, Mattie Donnelly, Mickey Murphy, Owen Mulligan and Johnny Lafferty meant that Tyrone cruised into a 1-13 to 1-07 lead mid way through the second half although it could have been better except for quite a few second half wides. Derry did score a late penalty in injury time but Ronan O’Neill also came on as a late sub and hit a point with his first touch to leave the full time score; Tyrone 1-14 Derry 2-08.

It was fantastic to see Tyrone captain on the night John Devine lift the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup, a player that has had many injury set backs the past couple of years.

This is the best possible start that Tyrone could have asked for in 2012 but the main business end of the year starts next weekend when they take on Kildare in Croke Park in the first game of the Division 2 National Football League. Also, the Tyrone/Derry rivalry is sure to be reignited on the following Sunday when these two teams meet again in Omagh … Derry will have a lot of scores to settle following this game!

The Tyrone panel that lined out in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh on Saturday night. 


N.I. First Minister and leader of the DUP party, Peter Robinson attended his first ever gaelic football match on Saturday night with colleague and Derry supporter Martin Mc Guinness. 


Colm Cavanagh collects a ball in the air early in the game. 


Paddy Bradley bursts past Peter Harte and PJ Quinn… 


… and scores a Derry goal. 


Barry Mc Goldrick gets stuck into Matthew Donnelly. 


Paddy Bradley then gets stuck into Colm Cavanagh in another off the ball incident. 


Minutes later Colm Cavangh is stretchered off after a James Conway tackle for which he got a straight red card. 


Derry’s Paddy Bradley is tackled by Trillick’s Matthew Donnelly. 


Martin Penrose and Justin Mc Mahon gives Cailean O’Boyle little space to move. 


Paddy Bradley collects the ball for Derry. 


Matthew Donnelly blasts the ball over the bar for a Tyrone point. 


Stephen O’Neill plays a ball forward for Tyrone. 


Dermot Carlin faces just some of the unorthodox Derry tackling, this time from Chrissy Mc Kaigue. Tackles like this often go amiss when watching the game from the stands but the camera has the ability to capture or freeze moments like these. 


Mattie Donnelly gave one of his strongest performances yet in a Tyrone jersey. 


Joe Mc Mahon is swamped by four Derry players. 


Tyrone captain John Devine lifts the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup as Ulster GAA President Aogan O’Fearghail looks on. 


Moortown’s PJ Quinn gives an interview to Kevin Kelly of


John Devine poses with the Dr Mc Kenna Cup after the game – no other man deserved to be captain more than John on the night and many people were delighted to see him have some good luck after a series of injuries. 


I managed to get this photo through the Tyrone changing room door after the game…. the Dr Mc Kenna cup sits in the centre of the room as Johnny Lafferty, Joe Mc Mahon and Johnny Curran have a few post match sandwiches.


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  1. […] in the first round tie of the Dr Mc Kenna Cup on Sunday in Healy Park, Omagh. In a repeat of the 2012 Dr Mc Kenna Cup final, a massive crowd of 4000+ saw the neighbouring counties take on each other causing throw in to be […]

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