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The Game at a glance

Peter Harte (Tyrone): A fine joust with young Aidan Cassidy but Harte earns the bauble for determinedly casting aside his Ulster championship despair with a seven-point haul from both feet.

Turning point

Tyrone's 1-3 power surge in six minutes after the break decisively swept away the home challenge. Longford had stayed in the dressing-room for a full 20 minutes; Tyrone were out five minutes earlier. Champions aren't fazed by amateur tactics.

Talking point

The anguish within Tyrone at the side's advancing age was assuaged somewhat as youthful cherubs flourished; Brian McGuigan and Brian Dooher played just a half of football each, Stephen O'Neill, Kevin Hughes and Tommy McGuigan weren't needed.

Ref watch

After a wonderfully open game devoid of cynicism, Pat McEnaney bounded down the steps two at a time behind the main stand just after 9.30. Reminded this would be his last game at the venue, the retiring whistler barely broke breath. "And what a way to go? Just let them at it." Hear, hear.

What they said

Mickey Harte (Tyrone manager):

"We said at half-time if we couldn't win in the first 10 minutes, we mightn't win in the last 10. Decisions hadn't been going our way. We're very pleased with the work that went in because the first round of the qualifiers is fraught with danger."

Glenn Ryan (Longford manager):

"Ultimately, there's no excuses. I've stood here before after games and given out about things. But tonight I can't do that. We gave our all and we were just beaten by a better team."

Match statistics

Wides: Tyrone 11 (5); Longford 5 (5).

Frees: Tyrone 20 (12); Longford 18 (10).

Yellow cards: Tyrone 1 (B McGuigan 29); Longford 4 (P Barden 15, D Barden 47, N Farrelly 55, S Mulligan 70).

Attendance: 7,120.

What next?

Tyrone are at home to Armagh or Wicklow in round three on Satuday week while Longford will hope to build on a promising year -- officials are eager to ensure Glenn Ryan remains on.

Irish Independent