Harte on the spot to secure promotion for Tyrone despite Quinn red card
Tyrone's promising start to the season got even better at Tuam Stadium yesterday when they secured promotion back to the top flight of the league with an impressive win.
This was their fifth successive victory and they have yet to concede a goal, but manager Mickey Harte was urging caution. "It is still a work in progress and there is still a lot to do. There were a lot of mistakes and there is no way we will be sitting down and thinking that we are world-beaters," he said.
The gloss was taken off the win by a straight red card to corner-back PJ Quinn after an off-the-ball incident with Padraic Joyce, with referee Eddie Kinsella dishing out the card after consulting his umpires.
"PJ Quinn says he was just pulled around and in the swing-around his foot hit him in the knee or somewhere, that he never kicked him or anything they are putting him down for. He is adamant that is not the case and I would well believe it. He has never got a red card in his life," said Harte.
The key score came seven minutes after the break when Peter Harte was fouled by Keith Kelly before dispatching the penalty into the left corner of the net.
And then Kyle Coney took over with three superb points from play to open up a 1-10 to 0-7 lead after 48 minutes, with Galway boss Alan Mulholland left lamenting two missed goal chances by Paul Conroy early in the second half.
"It was unfortunate we didn't convert at least one of them and then of course they hit us with a sucker-punch with that goal from the penalty," said Mulholland.
"That allowed them to hold on to the ball and we found it difficult to break them down after that."
There was never more than a point between them in the opening half until Tyrone finished strongly before the break with points from Coney and Owen Mulligan to lead by 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
And with Sean Cavanagh improving as the game developed and Stephen O'Neill also impressing after being introduced, Tyrone pushed on after the goal. Two points from Gary Sice and another free from Nicky Joyce gave the Tribesmen hope, but they were unable to reel in their rivals.
Man of the Match: Kyle Coney (Tyrone)
Scorers -- Tyrone: K Coney 0-5 (1f), P Harte 1-0 (pen), O Mulligan 0-3 (3f), Mark Donnelly, Matthew Donnelly, C McCarron, S Cavanagh, S O'Neill, M Penrose (f) 0-1 each. Galway: N Joyce 0-4 (3f), G Sice 0-3 (1f), G O'Donnell 0-2, P Conroy, D Cummins, A Faherty ('45') P Joyce (f) 0-1 each.
Tyrone -- J Curran 8; A McCrory 7, J McMahon 6, PJ Quinn 7; C McCarron 7, P Harte 8, D McCaul 6; M Murphy 6, S Cavanagh 7; R McNabb 6, Mark Donnelly 7, Matthew Donnelly 6; K Coney 8, M Penrose 7, O Mulligan 7. Subs: S O'Neill 7 for Penrose (32); A Cassidy 6 for Matthew Donnelly (35); N McKenna 6 for Mark Donnelly (52); C Cavanagh 6 for Murphy (52); C Gormley 6 for McCrory (69).
Galway -- A Faherty 6; K McGrath 7, F Hanley 6, K Kelly 6; G Bradshaw 6, D Blake 6, G O'Donnell 7; G Higgins 6, J Bergin 7; G Sice 8, D Burke 6, N Coleman 6; N Joyce 7, P Conroy 6, D Cummins 6. Subs: T Flynn 7 for Coleman (41); M Boyle 6 for Bergin (45); P Joyce 6 for Cummins (49); J Duane 6 for Blake (59); C Bane for Burke (67).
Ref -- E Kinsella (Laois).