When? June 29th, 2003
What? Ulster minor semi-final
Who? Tyrone 1-11 Cavan 2-8
Where? Brewster Park, Enniskillen
Whistler? C Reynolds, Down
NONE of the Tyrone players who featured in this minor thriller subsequently went on to become senior stars. But their lineup for the game was notable for the minor debut of Colm Cavanagh and the appearances on the panel of Raymond Mulgrew and Justin McMahon.
However, it took one of the future lesser lights to secure them a second chance in this curtain-raiser to an All-Ireland Qualifier tie. Martin McCreesh from Rock fired over the all-important score deep in injury time to ensure them the second chance.
Both counties enjoyed a strong rivalry at both minor, U-21 and senior level during those years and this game was no difference, producing as it did plenty of entertaining action.
The scene was set early on when goals for both settled them. Damien McDermott was first off the mark, before Peter Monaghan responded for a Cavan team which included World Handball champion, Paul Brady and another future senior star, Michael Lyng.
The Breffni men looked to be dominating with Lyng’s accuracy proving to be a critical factor. Indeed, Cavan were good value for their 1-6 to 1-4 interval lead and continued to lead the way on the resumption as well.
However, a goal from Patrick Early brought the Red Hands right back into contention and the tie remained close subsequently.
Then came Martin McCreesh’s big moment and he grabbed it with both arms to bring the teams level and set up a replay which was won by the Red Hands on their way to another provincial title.