Thursday 22 August 2019

Harte slams 'ridiculous' black card after hammering Breffni

Tyrone 1-20 Cavan 0-7

Tyrone’s Peter Harte leaves the field after being shown a black card late on in their qualifier win against Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile
Tyrone’s Peter Harte leaves the field after being shown a black card late on in their qualifier win against Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Had it been a boxing contest, the Cavan towel would have been thrown in before half-time as they were outfought, out-thought and outclassed by a vastly superior Tyrone side intent on taking their place in the 'Super 8s'.

The gulf in quality between two counties which both played Division 1 league football this spring was staggering, as Mickey Harte's men once again negotiated the back door to the last eight.

Ben McDonnell of Tyrone shoots to score his side's only goal during yesterday's match against Cavan in Clones. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Ben McDonnell of Tyrone shoots to score his side's only goal during yesterday's match against Cavan in Clones. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Cavan simply had no answers to Tyrone's blanket defence - their early, direct-ball tactic was scrapped after little success, while their ineffective running game ran into brick walls as Harte's side lorded affairs from start to finish.

The Red Hand - who showed remarkable scoring consistency, with just three wides in a complete display - could scarcely believe how easy they had it after the first quarter, where they led 0-5 to 0-2.

They cut Cavan open at will thereafter, firing seven of the next eight points - including three-in-a-row from Darren McCurry - to open up a nine-point lead at the break, 0-12 to 0-3.

Resistance

One would have needed an anaesthetic to enjoy a drab second-half where the result was never in doubt, as Cavan offered no resistance. Ben McDonnell's 62nd-minute goal was the icing on the cake of a thorough performance.

Tyrone's Ben McDonnell wins possession over Cavan goalkeeper Raymond Galligan on his way to scoring his side's first goal. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Tyrone's Ben McDonnell wins possession over Cavan goalkeeper Raymond Galligan on his way to scoring his side's first goal. Photo: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Importantly, Harte got valuable game time into Pádraig Hampsey and Richie Donnelly - who are both returning from injury - but there was one blot on their display.

A late black card for Peter Harte - his third of this campaign - rules him out of next Saturday's Super 8s opener away to Roscommon, barring a successful appeal.

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Mickey Harte didn't hold back in his post-match remarks about the "ridiculous" use of the black card and he branded it an "absolute disgrace" if the influential attacker is ruled out for next weekend.

Harte is confident they will have the one-match ban overturned - "I don't think we will need any top-class lawyers to put a case together to appeal his cards" - but didn't pull any punches when outlining his view on the black card.

Tyrone's Darren McCurry and Cavan's Barry Fortune are both issued with yellow cards by Referee Barry Cassidy. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Tyrone's Darren McCurry and Cavan's Barry Fortune are both issued with yellow cards by Referee Barry Cassidy. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

"We will be appealing all three as any of the three he got in the last few games were not even close to a black card. That is how ridiculous this whole thing is. It is so ridiculous that you can't appeal one until you get three," Harte said.

"Why do you think that happened? Because so many of them were appealable. It is so ridiculous. What was this brought in for? Cynical play, pulling somebody down when they were going for a score to decide the result of a game.

"You have to ask the question where was the deliberate intent? Did Petey Harte need to go out and trip that man at that stage of the game? That is so ridiculous it is beyond belief that he would want to do that.

"The whole thing when it came in was all about deliberate and intent which were the key words that were used. If there was any intent, where was it? Why would a man want to do that? It is absolutely ridiculous."

Tyrone join five-in-a-row-chasing Dublin, Cork and the Rossies in the Super 8s having bounced back in style from last month's Ulster semi-final defeat to Donegal, but Colm Cavanagh knows that their defensive style may not suffice down the road.

"The definition of insanity is if you keep doing the same thing and expect the same results, so we know that we have to tweak and amend things as we go and see what works for us," Cavanagh said.

"The qualifiers allowed us to do a wee bit on that, but the Super 8s is obviously going to be a lot tougher. There's tougher days ahead and we're really going to need to be on point to win games."

For Mickey Graham's Breffni men it was a harrowing end to a season which promised much, having reached the Ulster final, but things quickly unravelled.

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