Monday 23 April 2018

Clinical Tyrone prove too hot for Tipperary


Sean Cavanagh, Tyrone, in action against Alan Campbell, Tipperary
Sean Cavanagh, Tyrone, in action against Alan Campbell, Tipperary
Mattie Donnelly, Tyrone, in action against Paddy Codd, Tipperary. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship, Round 3B
Sean Cavanagh, Tyrone, celebrates after scoring his side's second point


Mickey Harte's Tyrone produced a clinical second-half display to cruise into round 4B of the All-Ireland football qualifiers yesterday.

In what was labelled a 'grudge match' before throw-in, the Red Hands prevailed by 12 points against Tipperary at Semple Stadium. A blistering run of scores after half-time paved the way for a comfortable win as Tipp's discipline completely failed them in the second half - and manager Peter Creedon announced he was stepping down after the game.

A dust-up before the break appeared to hinder more than help the Tipperary cause, as they were demolished after the break. Tyrone outscored Tipp by 0-12 to 0-1 in the second half, with Tipp's only score a 66th minute Kevin O'Halloran free.

And the Premier County finished with a massive tally of seven yellow cards, one black and one red. Sub Liam Casey was given his marching orders 14 minutes from time for what referee, David Gough, deemed a stamping offence on Colm Cavanagh. Casey was on the pitch barely two minutes before he was sent off and Ciaran McDonald's black card shortly after compounded Tipp's misery.

But Tyrone looked good in victory and, when they had the chance to put Tipp away in the second half, they made their superiority tell.

Tipp made three changes to the team originally named, with Ger Mulhair, Robbie Kiely and Steven O'Brien all in the starting line-up. Tyrone made one switch as Conor Meyler came in to replace Rory Brennan.

And a fixture that bubbled with needle throughout spilled over in first-half stoppage time, when a number of players became involved in bout of pushing and shoving at the Kinane Stand side of the field. The referee pulled out four players, two from each side, and issued yellow cards in an attempt to take the heat out of the situation. But both teams had to be separated as they made their way to the tunnel at the break, with Tyrone 0-7 to 0-6 ahead. Peter Harte and Sean Cavanagh were Tyrone's key men in that opening half, kicking a brace of points apiece.

Tipp seemed to move the ball quicker from defence to attack, with the massed ranks proving difficult for them to break down. At one point, Tyrone had 14 men behind the ball as Tipp tried in vain to think their way through the blanket defence. They did manage to do it on a few occasions but, more often than not, Tipp runners were stopped in their tracks or turned over in possession.

It was Tyrone who got off to much the better start, leading by 0-3 to 0-0 before Kevin O'Halloran kicked the first of his four first-half points, all from placed balls. A Darren McCurry free had Tyrone 0-4 to 0-1 in front, but Tipp rallied strongly and were level at 0-4 apiece by the 19th minute, thanks to a run of three unanswered points.

O'Halloran landed a 45 before Michael Quinlivan and Robbie Kiely added points from play for the home side. Tyrone hit back through that man Harte, who was gliding effortlessly around the pitch, and after Cavanagh put the Red Hands two points up, Harte was on target again to stretch the lead to three.

Back came Tipp approaching half-time as a brace of O'Halloran frees reduced the interval deficit to the bare minimum. But those ugly scenes at the break seemed to disturb Tipp - and they duly fell apart when play resumed.

Scorers - Tyrone: D McCurry (3f), C McAliskey (3f) 0-5 each, S Cavanagh, M Donnelly 0-3 each, P Harte 0-2, C McCann 0-1. Tipperary: K O'Halloran 0-5 (4f, 1 45), M Quinlivan, R Kiely 0-1 each.

Tyrone: N Morgan; A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron; R McNabb, J McMahon, P Harte; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; T McCann, M Bradley, C Meyler; D McCurry, S Cavanagh, C McAliskey.

Subs: C McCann for McCurry (51), B Tierney for Meyler (58), C Clarke for C Cavanagh (61), R O'Neill for Bradley (61), P McNulty for Harte (63), C McShane for McAliskey (67).

Tipperary: E Comerford; A Campbell, P Codd, C McDonald; S Kennedy, R Kiely, B Fox; P Acheson, C O'Riordan; G Mulhair, S O'Brien, P Austin; K O'Halloran, M Quinlivan, C Sweeney. Subs: J Lonergan for Sweeney (40), L Casey for O'Brien (54), J Feehan for McDonald (b/c 59), B Grogan for Austin (61), B Mulvihill for O'Riordan (65), C O'Shaughnessy for Mulhair (67).

Referee: D Gough (Meath)

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