Saturday 17 February 2018

Game at a Glance.

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

Man of the match

Martin Penrose

Top-scored with 0-5 including two second-half points when no one else could hit the target, but even better was his covering as a sweeper, with a phenomenal work-rate.

Turning point

Mickey Harte's decision to release Joe McMahon from marking Benny Coulter and put his brother Justin on him. Coulter finished scoreless and within minutes Joe soloed upfield to score an inspirational point.

Talking point

How could such a great free-flowing first half deteriorate into such an ugly slugfest? There were only three scores in 29 minutes after the break.

Ref watch

Gearoid O Conamha was particularly strict (10 cards) and there were several instances where he blew for carrying when players seemed to be fouled.

What they said

Mickey Harte (Tyrone manager):

"If we were an inexperienced team we'd be out, but that's the beauty of these men, the roads they've been on and the battles they've won, bringing that experience to bear when it's needed."

James McCartan (Down manager):

"We cut them open very well in the first half and went 0 -8 to 0-4 up but then 10 minutes later it's level and you're trying to figure out what has changed. I didn't have the answers."

Match statistics

Wides: Tyrone 10 (4); Down 12 (6).

Frees: Tyrone 23 (14); Down 25 (12).

Yellow cards: Tyrone 4 (Joe McMahon 27, B McGuigan 33, M Swift 37, C Cavanagh 53); Down 6 (C Garvey 13, J Colgan 29, K King 30, K McKernan 36, A Rogers 38, D Rafferty 53).

Red cards: 0.

Attendance: 15,419.

What next?

Tyrone play Monaghan or Fermanagh in the Ulster final (July 18). Down go into round two of the qualifiers on July 10.

Irish Independent

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