Friday 24 November 2017

Tyrone cruise after second-half surge

Tyrone 3-19 Queen's 1-8

Ronan O'Neill
Ronan O'Neill

Tyrone reeled off 2-12 without reply in the final 30 minutes at Healy Park to see off Queen's University Belfast and move to within touching distance of the Dr McKenna Cup semi-finals.

The holders ran riot with the wind in their backs, after going toe to toe with the students in a game that had been level on eight occasions.

Mickey Harte took another opportunity to have a look at some emerging talent, with Clonoe debutants PJ Lavery (1-2) and Danny McNulty (1-1) seizing their opportunity.

"Queen's made us play for it. In the first half they were probably better than us, and only that Mickey O'Neill pulled off a good save there at the start of the second half, we would have been in trouble if they had got a second goal," said Harte.

"It took us to introduce some more experienced heads to pull the game out of the fire at the end of it all."

A win over Armagh on Wednesday will secure a last-four spot and at least one extra competitive game ahead of the start of the NFL next month.

McNulty scrambled home a debut goal in the eighth minute, but Armagh's Ryan Rafferty slotted home a Queen's goal three minutes later. Rory Grugan had the sides level midway through the half, before Rafferty put the students in front.

The Red Hands went back in front through Connor McAliskey and Patrick Quinn, but went in at the break deadlocked at 1-6 after QUB centre-back Darren O'Hanlon surged through to score.

Grugan had Queen's ahead five minutes into the second half, but the Red Hands cut loose, hitting 1-12 without reply to run away with it.

Playmaker Peter Hughes displayed classy finishing with four points, while Ronan O'Neill came off the bench to hit two, and McAliskey brought his tally to five.

And two more Tyrone goals ended the contest, PJ Lavery rounding off a flowing move with a neat finish, before substitute Paddy McNeice clinically netted a third.

Scorers -- Tyrone: PJ Lavery 1-2, D McNulty 1-1 (0-1 '45'), P McNeice 1-0, C McAliskey 0-5 (2fs), P Hughes 0-4, C McGinley, R O'Neill 0-2 each, P Harte, P Quinn, S McGuigan 0-1 each. Queen's: R Rafferty 1-1, R Murray (f), R Grugan (f) 0-3 each, D O'Hanlon 0-1.

Tyrone -- M O'Neill; H Gallagher, K Campbell, R McNamee; C McGinley, P Harte, T McCann; N McKenna, C Grugan; K Gallagher, P Hughes, PJ Lavery; P Quinn, D McNulty, C McAliskey. Subs: M Donnelly for McNulty, A McCrory for Campbell, R O'Neill for Quinn, S McGuigan for McKenna, P McNeice for McAliskey, E McKenna for Gallagher.

Queen's -- M Cunningham; P Quinn, C Cullen, C McNulty; R Mallon, D O'Hanlon, G Collins; M McElhinney, A Findon; R Murray, C Maginn, H Og Conlan; S McArdle, R Grugan, R Rafferty. Subs: M Monan for McArdle, R McGrady for Rafferty, T Donnelly for Findon, K Moynagh for Cullen, M McCann for Murray.

REF -- M McNally (Monaghan)

Irish Independent

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