Derry make it back to back titles

Dr McKenna Cup final

Derry 0-12 Donegal 0-6

By Michael McMullan

CHAMPIONS Derry retained their McKenna Cup title after encounter with Donegal on Saturday in Omagh.

Brendan Rogers and Patrick McBrearty saw red, in separate incidents, within seconds, in the third quarter with Oisin Gallen dismissed for two bookings late on.

Donegal won the toss and opted to play into the wind and it was a sweet free from ‘keeper Gavin Mulreany that saw them open the scoring.

Derry lacked the composure and it took 10 minutes to level matters with the first of four McGuigan frees in the opening half.

After punching down many of the Donegal’s kick-outs, Derry pushed into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead thanks to scores from McGuigan and Declan Cassidy.

Cormac Murphy was lively up top for Derry while Caolan McGonagle and Ryan McHugh began to control the game with the latter fired over.

Murphy, Gareth McKinless and Diarmuid Baker were involved in a half Derry goal chance that was clawed off the line by Ciaran Moore.

Donegal finished the half with a McBrearty free, for an off the ball tug, leaving the score 0-5 to 0-3 in Derry’s favour.

Paul Cassidy and Niall Toner put Derry further ahead before Rogers and McBrearty were shown red cards.

First Rogers was sent off for a stamp on Daire Ó Baoill with McBrearty dismissed for contributing to a melee after charging into Gareth McKinless seconds later.

A foul on Niall Toner saw McGuigan kick Derry 0-10 to 0-5 ahead after 63 minutes.

Niall Loughlin fired over a fine score off his left foot with Ciaran Thompson replying for Donegal.

It was Derry who finished off the game with a Murphy point after a long Lynch kick-out over the top to the impressive Conor Doherty.

Victory brought Derry their 13th title and sets up an interesting championship clash later on in the season.

Derry: Odhrán Lynch; Diarmuid Baker, Eoin McEvoy, Chrissy McKaigue; Conor McCluskey, Gareth McKinless, Paudi McGrogan; Conor Doherty (0-1), Brendan Rogers; Donncha Gilmore, Declan Cassidy (0-1), Paul Cassidy (0-1); Niall Loughlin (0-1), Shane McGuigan (0-6f), Cormac Murphy (0-1)

Subs: Niall Toner (0-1) for E McEvoy (HT), Shea Downey for C McCluskey (69)

Red card: B Rogers (50)

Donegal: Gavin Mulreany (0-2f); Mark Curran, Domhnall Mac Giolla Bhríde, Kevin McGettigan; Ryan McHugh (0-1), Caolan McGonagle, Peadar Mogan; Oisin Caulfield, Ciarán Thompson (0-1); Odhran Doherty, Shane O’Donnell, Ciarán Moore; Patrick McBrearty (0-1f), Oisin Gallen, Jamie Brennan

Subs: Daire Ó Baoill (0-1) for O Caulfield (48), Ronan Frain for J Brennan (53), Luke McGlynn for S O’Donnell (58), Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí for O Doherty (58), Stephen McMenamin for M Curran (69)

Yellow cards: O Gallen (58, 66)
Red cards: P McBrearty (50), O Gallen (66)

Referee: Conor Curran (Down)

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