TWO second half goals were enough to see Tyrone record their second win in the McKenna Cup when they defeated Ulster University by 2-14 to 1-9 at Omagh.
Declan McClure and Peter Harte both hit the net for the Red Hands to see them through. But they also endured some anxious moments against opponents whose challenge was spearheaded by key Tyrone forward, Lee Brennan.
There was a sizeable attendance at Healy Park for the first tie of 2019, although it didn’t fulfil expectations despite being always competitive. Tyrone led by 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time, with man of the match, Conan Grogan, Conor Meyler, Ryan Gray, Liam Rafferty and Kyle Coney among the scorers.
However, their hopes of forging ahead never materialised immediately on the resumption as they might have hoped. Instead, Ulster University got back on level terms approaching the final quarter.
But then the introduction of Peter Harte and Niall Sludden transformed their challenge. Declan McClure got the first goal and when Peter Harte struck the second the win was secured. Daire Gallagher grabbed a goal in response for the Ulster University as the game ended in a brief flurry of scores.
“We took a while to find out feet which was perhaps understandable because a lot of the players had been on holiday for the last 10 days. They did a lot of travelling, and as the game went on they were finding their feet that bit more,” said Mickey Harte afterwards.
“Obviously it would have been better if we had been more efficient in front of goals at various stages, especially in the first quarter when I think we had one point from eight attempts. That kept us going until we found our feet and made better selections.
“It’s good to be playing footballing and winning games. Ulster University have traditionally been the strongest of the University teams. They set up very well defensively and it took us a whole to deal with that.”