Throwback TyroneGAA: 13 Men of Tyrone produce one of the great displays to deny Derry in 1995

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Tyrone GAA and Derry GAA have always had a fantastic rivalry on the field of play but it has been a few years since it has really kicked into the “piping hot” mode which we witnessed in the nineties!

In 2016 it flattered to deceive as there were some “absolute crackers” involving the senior teams of the O’Neill and Oak Leaf Counties and it appeared that the “big rivalry” was back. On that basis it did appear as though 2016 could emerge as the year that the rivalry was kickstarted again in the most dramatic fashion.

However, what has transpired since has been disappointing. For two years running now the Ulster Championship opener between the neighbouring counties has failed to raise the pulses in the manner anticipated with Tyrone certainly impressing but Derry offering little in the way of a serious challenge.

Last weekend Tyrone put Derry to the sword again to book a semi final showdown with big rivals, Donegal. The final scoreline of 0-22 to 0-11 probably even flattered the Derry men in what was a polished Red Hand display.

Remarkably though there have been a few that immediately pointed to chinks in the Tyrone armour afterwards. How anyone could look at that game and go on to  criticise the manner of the Tyrone victory is bewildering to say the least but there is no doubt that much tougher tests lie ahead.

A number of the less experienced players certainly showed up well with Killyclogher’s Conall McCann picking up the official “Man of the Match” award on RTE as well as “Star Man” accolades elsewhere. McCann definitely impressed while Darren McCurry and Lee Brennan also looked good when introduced, albeit the Derry challenge had well and truly faltered by that point.

All the same, competition for places looks hot in the Tyrone camp. They looked “up for it” against Derry and, with the experience gained in last year’s Ulster final win,  this side could enjoy a really good summer journey in the Championship! More of that later…

For now here’s a wee look back at one of the greatest championship day head-to-heads involving Tyrone and Derry (and of course Tyrone came out on top in this one). This was one of the most exciting championship games we feel there has been in the provincial series!

Peter Canavan, Brian Gormley, Gerard Cavlan and Ciaran McBride get involved with Derry players in what was a turbulent and exhilarating championship encounter in 1995 between the “big rivals”

1995 Ulster semi final classic…

Some details of that are below but what did jump out was the memories flooding back in of one of the “all time great” Tyrone performances. The Tyrone v Derry head to head in the 1995 Ulster Senior Football Semi Final is a legendary and hugely memorable one (from a Tyrone perspective) as it was the day that Tyrone bounced back to beat their hotly fancied rivals with 13 men.

Despite going 0-8 to 0-5 down by half time and having two players sent off, Tyrone rode through the scorching heat and emerged as winners by a point.

The Red Hands won the match 0-11 to 0-10 on a “roasting hot” day in the piping cauldron that was St. Tiernach’s Park.

Performances from the “greatest” himself, Peter Canavan, as well as Paul Donnelly were just a couple of displays in a phenomenal team effort that helped Tyrone to win that game and go on to claim the Anglo Celt Cup. It was also a year when they were then harshly done-by in the All Ireland final against Dublin in September 1995 with a first ever Sam Maguire Cup success within their grasp.

Here is the highlights on video of that brilliant Tyrone v Derry 1995 Ulster semi final in our Throwback Tyrone GAA feature…

We will continue with our series looking back at big performances and key games in the weeks ahead as the 2017 Tyrone GAA Championship journey continues…

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