First half demolition sees Tyrone past Derry as Mickey Harte's men justify the hype
Tyrone 3-14 Derry 0-12
Tyrone found the net three times in the first half as they recorded a surprisingly comfortable victory over old foes Derry at Celtic Park.
From the moment Ronan O’Neill scored Tyrone’s first goal in the eighth minute, the result never looked in doubt.
O’Neill collected a long ball from Richie Donnelly before calmly throwing a dummy, rounding goalkeeper Thomas Mallon and finishing to an empty net.
The following ten minutes were notable for some outstanding scores as both sides traded points.
Seán Cavanagh, Cathal McShane and O’Neill all kicked superb scores for Tyrone while Danny Heavron, Mark Lynch and James Kielt found their range for the hosts.
Tyrone then took a firm grip on proceedings when O’Neill grabbed his second goal of the game in the 20th minute, pouncing on a rebound after Cavanagh’s initial effort had been saved.
Derry heads dropped immediately and they went 20 minutes without registering a score as Tyrone effectively ended the game as a contest.
Substitute Darren McCurry got his name on the scoresheet before Conor McAliskey punished poor Derry kick-outs with two quick-fire points.
Typically, when Derry did finally end their scoring drought in first-half injury time, Tyrone went straight down the other end and found the net for the third time.
Peter Harte played a neat one-two with Seán Cavanagh before coolly slotting home.
In truth, though, Derry were not making Tyrone work hard enough for their scores and the visitors were home and dry by half time, leading 3-8 to 0-6.
Tyrone didn’t have to get out of first gear in the second half as they comfortably saw out the match.
Mickey Harte’s men packed the defence and ensured that Derry never got a goal to give their supporters hope of a huge comeback.
Derry lost their discipline and they ended the game with 13 men on the field after Ciarán McFaul received his marching orders when he picked up a black card while already on a yellow before centre-back Chrissy McKeigue was red carded after throwing an elbow at Colm Cavanagh.
It was all too easy for Tyrone who recorded an 11-point victory in the end (3-14 to 0-12) and will now face the winners of the game between Cavan and Armagh.
Derry: T Mallon, O Duffy, B Rogers, K McKaigue, K Johnston, C McKaigue, G McKinless, N Holly, D Heavron, S Heavron, J Kielt, C McFaul, N Toner, E McGuckin, M Lynch.
Subs: R Bell for E McGuckin, C O’Boyle for S Heavron, D McBride for O Duffy, E Brown for M Lynch, G O’Kane for K Johnston
Tyrone: M O'Neill, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, T McCann, N Sludden, P Harte, C Kavanagh, M Donnelly, C McShane, M Bradley, R Donnelly, C McAliskey, S Cavanagh, R O'Neill.
Subs: for D McCurran for M Bradley, P McNulty for R Donnelly, J Monroe for C McShane, P Hampsey for C McCarron, K McGeary for N Sludden, B Tierney for C McAliskey