Three-goal Tyrone dispose of Down at the second time of asking
Down 0-12 Tyrone 3-11
THEY may have had to pull it out of the bag in Omagh last week but Tyrone made no mistake with their second chance in last night's Ulster SFC replay with Down.
It was wet and murky in the Marshes but Tyrone's Ciaran McGinley lit up the night with two goals at vital stages and centre-back Mattie Donnelly was another contender for Man of the Match.
It was all action, on and off-the-ball, right from the throw-in, with Down winning a penalty within just 26 seconds when Conor Maginn was taken out by Peter Harte.
But centre-back Aidan Carr hit the spot-kick straight at goalkeeper Niall Morgan who had no trouble saving it.
The outstanding Tyrone 'keeper was in the thick of the action throughout, constantly coming off his line and spraying brilliant passes forward Cluxton-style and he also contributed 0-3 from placed balls.
After the early penalty let-off Tyrone took control, scoring four unanswered points before Ciaran Mckinley fly-kicked a goal off a great Sean Cavanagh pass to give them a six-point lead after 25 minutes.
But Down did not lie down and Conor Laverty, Maginn, Donal O'Hare and Dan Gordon rattled off four unanswered points before half-time to haul the deficit at the break back to just two (1-6 to 0-7).
A lot of Down fans did a double-take when Gordon was among their late two pre-match changes, returning from a very lengthy layoff to replace Peter Turley in midfield.
Tyrone also rang the changes before throw-in, with Justin McNulty, Ronan McNamee, Emmet McKenna and Ronan O'Neill all coming in to start.
But McKenna and McNamee were gone by half-time when Stephen O'Neill and Conor Gormley were called of the bench.
Within 24 seconds of the re-start McGinley got in for a second-goal and followed it up with a brilliant point for his 2-1 total.
Down rallied when they eventually introduced Benny Coulter who pointed with his first touch but the game was settled when Ronan McNabb was taken down for a Tyrone penalty in the 52nd minute and, for the second week in-a-row, Peter Harte scored the spot-kick. Tyrone pushed on to a nine-point lead from which Down could not recover.
Scores - Tyrone: C McGinley 2-1, N Morgan 0-3 (2 45, 1f), P Harte 1-1 (1pen), D McCurry 0-2 (2f), Mattie Donnelly, R O'Neill, N McKenna and C McAliskey 0-1 each. Down: D O'Hare 0-6 (4f), C Laverty 0-2, C Garvey, D Gordon, C Maginn and B Coulter 0-1 each.
TYRONE - N Morgan; R McNabb, J McNulty, R McNamee; Mattie Donnelly, A McCrory, P Harte; C Cavanagh, C Clarke; E McKenna, S Cavanagh (Capt), C McGinley; D McCurry, R O'Neill, K Coney. Subs - S O'Neill for McKennan (HT), C Gormley for McNamee (HT),N McKenna for Coney (51), M Penrose for McCurry (63), C McAliskey for O'Neill (67), D McBride for Donnelly (68).
DOWN - B McVeigh; R Boyle, D McCartan, B McArdle; C Garvey, A Carr, D Rooney; D Gordon, K McKernan; C Maginn, M Poland (Capt), N Madine; D O'Hare, J Johnston C Laverty. Subs - B Coulter for Carr (44), R Johnston for Madine (47), A Rogers for Johnston (60) D Turley for McCartan (63),
Referee - C Reilly (Meath).