Granted, a Canavan torturing Kerry wasn’t an act of great originality. But the extent to which young Ruairí, the youngest prince of the royal Tyrone clan, did so on Sunday was enough to cheer everyone up and take notice.
A scintillating display of movement and accuracy, strikingly reminiscent of both father Peter and older brother Darragh, propelled Tyrone into Saturday’s EirGrid All-Ireland U-20FC final.
“It was a beautiful thing,” Ruairí later confirmed after receiving the official TG4 Man of the Match award. “We took it out of the Cavan game, we knew it wasn’t going to be anywhere near good enough and thank God everyone upped their game and got the job done.”
It was a dark irony for Kerry that the man who couldn’t miss (0-8; 3f and 1m) hit the post in the 58th minute and Tyrone scored his goal from the rebound to take the lead for the first time.
“I was very happy to see (Ciarán Bogue, the goalscorer) there, I should have scored but he did all year. We couldn’t have had a better man to tackle the situation, he did it perfectly.”
Tyrone’s timing was impeccable. Up until that moment they were never leading and at some point early in the second half they were trailing by four and looking like they could be overrun.
“We haven’t taken it easy all year,” Canavan admitted. “Maybe not comfortable, but we knew how to deal with this situation and how to deal with it. The defenders handled it very well, they didn’t drop their heads and we put the ball into play a little faster.”
They meet Kildare at Carrick-on-Shannon (5.0) on Saturday after requests from both managers to host the game at Croke Park were denied by the GAA’s CCCC. Districts have had conflicting experiences of turning the potential of minors into the success of seniors. Tyrone has won three of the last four Ulster titles but has not won the All-Ireland since 2015 when the competition was still an Under-21 class.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/u-20-gaelic-football/u-20-star-ruairi-canavan-brings-back-memories-of-fathers-days-with-tyrone-41632703.html U-20 star Ruairí Canavan brings back memories of father’s days with Tyrone