Monday 5 December 2016

Hot McCurry chips in to ease Tyrone into All-Ireland quarters

Tyrone 0-21 Sligo 0-14

Published 01/08/2015 | 17:53

Adrian Marren, Sligo, under pressure by, from left, Colm Cavanagh, Aidan McCrory, Rory Brennan and Ronan McNabb, Tyrone
Adrian Marren, Sligo, under pressure by, from left, Colm Cavanagh, Aidan McCrory, Rory Brennan and Ronan McNabb, Tyrone

Tyrone advanced to the All-Ireland quarter-final stage for the 11th time with a comprehensive win over Sligo in Croke Park.

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There was to be no repeat of the 2002 encounter between the sides that saw Sligo pull off a shock win as this time around, the Ulster men dominated this game from pillar to post.

They were headed just once when David Kelly got the tie’s opening score after three minutes. From there, the gulf in class was apparent. 

Tyrone laid the foundations for their win with a dominant first half display. They looked more comfortable all over the pitch but Darren McCurry was the star of the show, hitting five first half points as he showed unerring accuracy in front of the posts.

Sean Cavanagh, Tyrone, in action against Daniel Maye, Sligo
Sean Cavanagh, Tyrone, in action against Daniel Maye, Sligo

Sligo had the best goal chance of the half and it came when the game was only seconds old. Pat Hughes got his hand to a dropping centre but Niall Morgan was alert enough to to make the save. After that, Sligo’s attacking threat was muted as they couldn’t get Mark Breheny, Adrian Marren and David Kelly into the game.

Their cause was further hampered when midfielder Cian Breheny was forced off with what looked to be a ankle injury.

Sean Cavanagh, who started at wing forward but operated closer to the goal as the game went on, fisted over his second score of the half to see Mickey Harte’s side go in leading 0-12 to 0-6 at the break.

And bar the first ten minutes after the restart where Tyrone struggled for traction, the second half went along largely similar lines. Sligo did get the gap back to four points shortly after the restart and they missed a few more chances in that period.

They kept plugging away however. Mark Breheny, the only survivor on the pitch from that 2002 clash, had registered six points by the game’s end but it was to no avail.

By the 60th minute mark, man of the match McCurry hit his eighth point of the day to put his side 0-20 to 0-10 up.

Darren McCurry, Tyrone, in action against Keelan Cawley, Sligo
Darren McCurry, Tyrone, in action against Keelan Cawley, Sligo

And from there, they free-wheeled over the line and into a place in the last eight.

SCORERS - Tyrone: D McCurry 0-8 (3f, 1 45), M Donnelly, S Cavanagh 0-3 each, M Bradley 0-2, C McAlliskey, C Cavanagh, P Harte, R Brennan, N Morgan (1f) 0-1 each.

Sligo: M Breheny 0-6 (3f), P Hughes 0-3, A Marren 0-2 (2f), D Kelly, C Breheny, N Murphy 0-1 each.

Tyrone: N Morgan; R McNabb, R McNamee, A McCrory; T McCann, Joe McMahon, R Brennan; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; S Cavanagh, P Harte, C Meyler; D McCurry, C McAlliskey, M Bradley SUBS: C McCann for Meyler (49), P McNulty for Bradley (58), Justin McMahon for J McMahon (60), D McBride for C Cavanagh, R O’Neill for McAlliskey (both 63), C Clarke for Donnelly

Sligo: A Devaney, D Maye, K Cawley, R Donovan; E Flanagan, B Curran, B Egan; S Gilmartin, C Breheny; N Ewing, M Breheny, N Murphy; A Marren, P Hughes, D Kelly SUBS: K McDonnell for C Breheny (34), J Hynes for Gilmartin (56), C Davey for Ewing (58), L Bree for Maye (63), K Sweeney for Hughes (69).

Ref: R Hickey (Clare)

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