Saturday 25 November 2017

Harte praises Tyrone 'belief' as Mellon ignites revival

Tyrone 3-9
Cork 0-16

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has urged his players to draw strength and belief from their first win of the season.

The Red Hands came from behind to stun previously unbeaten Cork with a three-goal salvo at Healy Park, and kick-start their bid to avoid relegation.

"It's a case of a job well done, a lot more to be done, and we need to build on that performance, we can't rest on it," said Harte, after Colm Cavanagh, Tommy McGuigan and Ryan Mellon had grabbed vital goals.

Cork dominated for long spells, and led by five points a couple of minutes before half-time, only to concede two goals and go in at the break trailing by two. They enjoyed another glorious spell in the second half, but substitute Mellon's late goal once again dragged Tyrone out of the mire.

"It was a strange game I suppose in many ways. I think we opened very brightly, and went to a four-one lead. But to lose seven points in a row after that, or maybe eight, it just seemed unreal," said Harte.

"And you wondered where were we going to get the energy out of to fix this again. But goals are very important in games. Colm Cavanagh tucked his away lovely and that gave us a real lift. And then getting another goal before half-time.

"We probably didn't believe the position we were in at half-time, given how we were five or six minutes before it. But that's what persistence is about, and there's a great belief in this team."

Cork manager Conor Counihan rued missed opportunities which had seen Daniel Goulding and Colm O'Neill both rattle the crossbar. "We're disappointed, obviously. We had our opportunities, but Tyrone took theirs," he said.

Two Owen Mulligan points helped Tyrone to a 0-4 to 0-1 lead by the 12th minute. But Cork lofted over six quality points in as many minutes, through Colm O'Neill, Donncha O'Connor, Paul Kerrigan and Daniel Goulding.

With just a couple of minutes left in the first half, they led by 0-9 to 0-4, but Colm Cavanagh delightfully lobbed goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran, and Tommy McGuigan poked home a second goal to send the home side in with a 2-5 to 0-9 lead.

Another Cork flourish saw them hit the first five points of the second half, Pearse O'Neill claiming his second and Kerrigan and Goulding both bringing their tallies to three. But the introduction of Sean Cavanagh on 41 minutes signalled the beginning of another Tyrone revival, and points from Sean O'Neill, Davy Harte and Mulligan brought them level on the three-quarter mark.

Again Cork eased ahead through John Hayes, but in the 61st minute, sub Mellon grabbed his side's third goal, after Ken O'Halloran had saved from the excellent Aidan Cassidy.

SCORERS -- Tyrone: T McGuigan 1-1, C Cavanagh, R Mellon 1-0 each, O Mulligan 0-3, M Penrose 0-2 (2f), D Harte, C Gormley, S O'Neill 0-1 each. Cork: C O'Neill 0-5 (3f), D Goulding, P Kerrigan 0-3 each, P O'Neill 0-2, P Kissane, D O'Connor, J Hayes 0-1 each.

Tyrone -- J Curran; M Swift, J McMahon, C McCarron; D Harte, C Gormley, R McMenamin; A Cassidy, C Cavanagh; M Donnelly, E McCusker, R Mulgrew; T McGuigan, M Penrose, O Mulligan.

Subs: S O'Neill for Gormley (38), S Cavanagh for Donnelly (41), C McCullagh for Mulgrew (50), R Mellon for McCusker (50)

Cork -- K O'Halloran; R Carey, M Shields, E Cotter; P Kissane, B O'Regan, N O'Leary; A O'Connor, P O'Neill; P Kerrigan, D O'Connor, P Kelly; D Goulding, P O'Flynn , C O'Neill. Subs: J Hayes for C O'Neill (55), C O'Driscoll for O'Regan (65), F Goold for O'Flynn (67).

Ref -- D Coldrick (Meath).

Irish Independent

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