Creedon vacates Tipp hot-seat as Tyrone keep cool in cauldron
Tyrone 0-19 Tipperary 0-7
The grudge match was a mismatch at Semple Stadium on Saturday as Mickey Harte's rampant Tyrone moved within 70 minutes of an All-Ireland quarter-final.
All-Ireland SFC Qualifier
As Tipp lost their heads in Thurles, Tyrone held their nerve to put their name in the hat for this morning's round 4B draw.
We expected fireworks following the stormy All-Ireland U-21 final between the counties in May, but while tempers threatened to boil over before half-time, Tyrone drew the heat out of the game in the second half with a clinical display.
A point up at the break, 0-7 to 0-6, the Red Hands turned to face the wind in the second half, yet were utterly dominant in front of 4,620 spectators at Semple Stadium.
After running into traffic time and time again in the first half, Tipp were a busted flush and Tyrone calmly worked the ball through the lines to outscore the hosts by 0-12 to 0-1 in that second period.
Tipp's lone score in the second half was a Kevin O'Halloran free with four minutes left, as Tyrone were driven forward by captain Sean Cavanagh, making a record 76th senior Championship appearance for the county.
Peter Harte was brilliant too in that roving commission of his, but Tipp's indiscipline was a feature of their game.
Afterwards, manager Peter Creedon announced his intention to step down.
Creedon has completed a fourth Championship term at the helm and in that time, the Premier County made good progress.
They reached the last 12 of the All-Ireland series in 2012 and 2014, but this heavy loss represents a setback.
On these pages on Saturday, two-time All Star Declan Browne urged Tipp to make a big statement.
But it never materialised as they sunk under a flurry of cards of various colours dished out by referee David Gough.
Tipperary had Liam Casey sent off in the 56th minute, for a stamp on Colm Cavanagh, before Ciaran McDonald was black-carded three minutes later.
They also had seven players booked, five in the second half alone, with three Tyrone names entering Gough's notebook.
Harte insisted: "I was very happy with our players and how disciplined they were. It's not easy sometimes when these shemozzles get started, people can lose the plot and lose their place in the team and stuff like that.
"I'd be very happy with the way they dealt with that side of the contest. "I think they showed in the second half that far from distracting our players, it maybe galvanised them."
Tyrone were accused of sledging their opponents at Parnell Park in that U-21 decider but Harte insisted that the Red Hands are often more sinned against than sinners.
He said: "That's for others to judge. We obviously would be biased wouldn't we? I think there is something in that, yeah."
From a purely footballing viewpoint, this performance was a marked improvement on the stuttering nature of their victory over Meath, when a Peter Harte penalty got them out of jail.
And manager Harte reflected: "We were in a very similar position at half-time in the Meath game - staring at an exit from the Championship with 35 minutes to go.
"The big question was asked again - do we want this to all end here or do we believe we have more in us?"
Harte believes that Tyrone can be a match for anybody left in the Championship - if they perform to full potential.
"If we can play to our top level, then I wouldn't be particularly scared of anybody but if we don't play at our top level, I don't think many people would be scared of us either," he said.
Losing Cork native Creedon, meanwhile, is a blow to Tipp.
He has taken up a new teaching post in Cahir and insisted that the dual issue in the county must be resolved if Tipp footballers are to emerge as a force capable of mixing it with the big boys.
2014 All Star nominee Colin O'Riordan was playing his second match in three days after lining out for the county's U-21 hurlers on Thursday evening and Steven O'Brien carried a hamstring injury picked up in a recent U-21 challenge into the game.
Insisting that promotion from Division 3 of the Allianz League next year must be a priority for his successor, Creedon added: "Absolutely - and fellas will have to play nothing but football and park everything else.
"The likes of Tyrone, Kerry and the top football teams, that's their sole concentration."
Scorers - Tyrone: D McCurry (3fs), C McAliskey (3fs) 0-5 each, S Cavanag, M Donnelly 0-3 each, P Harte 0-2, C McCann 0-1. Tipperary: K O'Halloran 0-5 (4fs, 1 '45'), M Quinlivan, R Kiely 0-1 each.
TYRONE - N Morgan 7; A McCrory 7, R McNamee 7, C McCarron 7; R McNabb 7, J McMahon 8, P Harte 9; C Cavanagh 8, M Donnelly 8; T McCann 7, M Bradley 6, C Meyler 6; D McCurry 8, S Cavanagh 8, C McAliskey 8. Subs: C McCann 7 for McCurry (51), B Tierney 6 for Meyler (58), C Clarke 6 for C Cavanagh (61), R O'Neill 6 for Bradley (61), P McNulty NR for Harte (63), C McShane NR for McAliskey (67).
TIPPERARY - E Comerford 6; A Campbell 6, P Codd 6, C McDonald 6; S Kennedy 6, R Kiely 6, B Fox 7; P Acheson 8, C O'Riordan 7; G Mulhair 6, S O'Brien 6, P Austin 5; K O'Halloran 7, M Quinlivan 7, C Sweeney 5. Subs: J Lonergan 6 for Sweeney (40), L Casey NR for O'Brien (54), J Feehan for McDonald (b/c 59), B Grogan 5 for Austin (61), B Mulvihill NR for O'Riordan (65), C O'Shaughnessy NR for Mulhair (67).
Ref - D Gough (Meath)