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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 September, 2003, 16:30 GMT 17:30 UK
Tyrone are All-Ireland champions
Armagh 0-9 Tyrone 0-12

Tyrone skipper Peter Canavan lifts the All-Ireland trophy
Tyrone skipper Peter Canavan hoists the famous Sam Maguire Cup

Tyrone won the All-Ireland Senior Football final at Croke Park with a hard-fought three-point win over 2002 champions Armagh.

The Red Hand County, already the Ulster title holders, led virtually from start to finish to win the famous Sam Maguire trophy for the first time.

Skipper Peter Canavan, a four-times All Star winner, was a big injury doubt before the Croke Park showpiece but played for the first half and was back on the pitch for the last 10 minutes as Tyrone clinched their historic triumph.

It completes a hat-trick of success for manager Mickey Harte in his fist year in charge of the senior team, Tyrone having already lifted the National League and Ulster Championship.

Canavan kicked five frees in the first half to help Harte's men establish an eight points to four half-time advantage.

Armagh, renowned strong finishers, reduced the gap to two points on occasions but suffered a telling blow when full-forward Diarmuid Marsden was controversially sent-off after an off-the-ball clash.

Steven McDonnell almost snatched a late goal for Armagh but Tyrone's Conor Gormley pulled off a superb match-saving block.

In footballing terms, it was a poor game without any goals. But that will not worry the supporters of Tyrone whose celebrations are sure to go on for weeks.

"I am in a state of shock because this is something you dream about all your life," said 32-year-old Canavan.

"We made hard work of it in the second half but the defence was superb and we held out.

"People questioned whether Tyrone had what it took. We watched other Ulster counties come to Croke Park and take home the silverware. To eventually win it is something else."

Armagh scorers: Oisin McConville 3 pts, Steven McDonnell 2 pts, Paddy McKeever 2 pts, John McEntee 1 pt, Diarmuid Marsden 1 pt.

Tyrone scorers: Peter Canavan 5 pts, Owen Mulligan 2 pts, Stephen O'Neill 2 pts, Ger Cavlan 1 pt, Brian McGuigan 1 pt, Enda McGinley 1 pt.

  • In the Minor final, Dublin and Laois drew 1-11 each.

    BBC's Owen McConnon
    "Peter Canavan at last has collected his All-Ireland medal"

    Armagh's Joe Kernan
    "Tyrone looked a bit hungrier than maybe we were"

    Tyrone's Peter Canavan
    "This is something you dream about all your life"

    Tyrone time-out works to perfection
    28 Sep 03  |  Gaelic Games


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