29/09/2003

Tyrone victorious over Armagh in All-Ireland final

Tyrone's skipper Peter Canavan was the man to step up and lift the Sam Maguire Cup after a hard-fought match with Armagh on Sunday.

A score-line of Armagh 0-9 Tyrone 0-12 saw four-time All-Star winner Canavan the only man on the Tyrone team to previously play at an All-Ireland, to hoist the Sam decked out in red-and-white above his head.

Canavan had been a big injury worry before the game, but he played in the first half, and returned to the pitch for the last ten minutes in a tense game with the reigning champions the orchard county. In all 32-year-old Canavan contributed five frees that were crucial to Mickey Harte's side.

The stronger performance was Tyrone's, and the first quarter saw Canavan's boot unerringly found the sweet spot three times between the orchard counties' uprights. He was helped too by points from Ger Calvan and Brian McGuigan.

Armagh fought back, but Sean Cavanagh missed a chance on goal, McConville took a free, and Steven McDonnell eased the pain for Armagh with two points to close the gap to two. Canavan opened the gap to three with another free, before Armagh's Enda McGinley forced a save from the legs of Paul Hearty.

The half-time score 0-8 to 0-4 underlined the performance by a hungrier Tyrone side that saw the red hand side tighten their grasp on the Sam.

Everyone expected a tough second-half from the orchard county who are renowned for their fighting spirit. But resumption of play saw Armagh contained to trail by a margin that was never less than two points. The champions were strong in the second-half, but were dealt a severe blow when full-forward Diarmuid Marsden was red carded for an off-the-ball clash.

Despite hopeful balls forward Armagh were denied the net by a stout Tyrone defence - Conor Gormley pulled off a match saving block on Steven McDonnell who was intent on finding a goal.

McConville kept Armagh's flickering hopes alive with a free, but the last point of the day went to Stephen O'Neill as he took his second from play.

A poor match in footballing terms, but in a Tyrone braced for celebrations today as the Sam Maguire lands this afternoon in unfamiliar territory for the second time in as many years, it will not matter.

(SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

30 September 2009
Ulster Canal Regeneration Supported
Calls to regenerate the Ulster Canal have been backed by senior Stormont representatives. NI Rural Affairs Minister Michelle Gildernew, Environment Minister Edwin Poots and DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson all gave their support to plans by Blackwater Regional Partnership to restore the waterway to its former glory.
28 August 2001
Agriculture Minister calls for vigilance following UK FMD outbreak
Following the recent resurgence of foot-and-mouth (FMD) in England, Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister Bríd Rodgers has warned people in the province to avoid complacency.
05 September 2005
Tyrone to meet Kerry in GAA football final
It took a late resurgence by Tyrone to beat Armagh in the Bank of Ireland All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday. While the first-half was not without excitement, it was a story of missed chances as Ryan Mellon should have taken the first goal of the match for the Red Hand men but was denied by Armagh keeper Paul Hearty.
24 September 2003
Unchanged line-up for Armagh v Tyrone GAA final
Armagh and Tyrone have both named unchanged line-ups for this Sunday’s senior gaelic football championship final at Croke Park. The news from the Armagh camp was no great surprise after the reigning champions came through their semi-final clash with Donegal without injury concerns.
15 October 2003
Sam Maguire welcomed back to Stormont
'Sam Maguire' arrived back at Stormont last night as Ulster's two representatives in this year's All-Ireland GAA final were toasted at a special reception to mark their achievements.