Connor McAliskey leads Cork rout as Tyrone lay down a marker and book Super 8's spot
Tyrone 3-20 Cork 0-13
Connor McAliskey was the scoring hero for Tyrone hitting 1-6 as Mickey Harte’s men booked their place in the Super 8’s with a 16-point rout of Cork.
Tyrone will meet Roscommon next weekend in their opening Super 8’s clash – they are in the same group as Donegal and Dublin – after strolling past a lack lustre Rebel effort at a sun-kissed O'Moore Park, Portlaoise.
Tyrone's half-time lead could have been more than five after spurning some decent chances but they made no mistake after the break as McAliskey and substitutes Ronan O'Neill and Mark Bradley both hit the net after breaching a porous Cork defence.
It was thought Cork may have a kick in them after a humiliating Munster final defeat to Kerry but that was unfounded and their misery was compounded when Mark Collins – one of their only consistent performers – was sent off for striking Conor Meyler in the 62nd minute.
Tyrone hit the ground running in the early stages against a much-changed Cork side and they raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead with Luke Connolly (free) hitting the Rebels’ sole point in the opening quarter.
The Red Hand – who were pressing high on Mark White’s kick-out to good effect – could have been further in front were it not for a hat-trick of missed goal opportunities, but McAliskey was proving effective kicking four first-half points (0-3 frees).
Amazingly, Cork were level by the 22nd minute with Connolly, Ruairí Deane and Michael Hurley pointing but they could have been in front had Connolly not fluffed his lines when through on goal.
The Tyrone response was emphatic as they kicked six of the next seven points before the break with Peter Harte, Niall Sudden and Cathal McShane all on target as they held a double scores lead at the break through seven different scorers, 0-10 to 0-5.
When McAliskey hit the net in the 42nd minute to put them ten points p, 1-13 to 0-6, the game was all but over and O'Neill and Bradley put the gloss on an impressive display.
Harte ran his bench in the last quarter resting many of his high-profile stars in the closing period ahead of a busy few weeks in the Super 8's.
TYRONE – N Morgan; C McCarron, R McNamee, M McKernan; T McCann, F Burns, P Harte; C Cavanagh, P Hampsey; M Donnelly, N Sludden, C Meyler; C McShane, R Donnelly, C McAliskey.
Subs: R O’Neill for McAliskey (50), K McGeary for McShane (52), M Bradley for Harte (53), A McCrory for McKernan (55), HP McGeary for McNamee (57), R Brennan for Burns (59).
CORK – M White; J O’Sullivan, J Loughrey, K Crowley; S Cronin, K Flahive, C Kiely; I Maguire, B O’Driscoll; S White, M Collins, R Deane; L Connolly, B Hurley, M Hurley.
Subs: K O’Hanlon for O’Sullivan (33 black), P Kerrigan for Cronin (40), D O’Connor for B Hurley (47), M Taylor for O’Driscoll (50), R O’Toole for S White (53), S Ryan for Loughrey (56).
REF – M Deegan (Laois)