Friday 19 January 2018

Masterful Walsh runs Rebels show to end Tyrone run

Cork 0-14 Tyrone 0-8

The rampant Rebels ended Tyrone's unbeaten run with a compelling display at Healy Park.

Aidan Walsh led the charge with a powerhouse midfield display and three wonderful points for good measure.

The Munster men bossed the contest from start to finish, a strangely subdued Red Hand side never able to play its way into the game.

Cork laid solid foundations by keeping their opponents scoreless throughout the opening quarter, during which Colm O'Neill clipped over two frees, and Barry O'Driscoll landed a point from play.

Walsh and Graham Canty had already established a foothold in midfield that was to continue right to the end, and there was a certain inevitability about the fate of a Red Hand side that appeared sluggish and lacking in cohesion.


They didn't register their first score until the 18th minute, when Ronan O'Neill, making his first start in over a year, angled over a point, which was followed swiftly by scores from Stephen O'Neill and Kyle Coney – so it was level pegging by the 22-minute mark.

But the Rebels saw out the first half in dominant fashion, keeping their opponents under pressure with their support play and hitting five of the remaining six scores.

They were all quality efforts, from substitute Donncha O'Connor, Paul Kerrigan and O'Neill, with the pick of the bunch a long-range special from Walsh.

Tyrone, to their credit, but equally to their frustration, did create a goal chance when Peter Harte broke a couple of tackles, but blasted his shot wide.

Cork were ahead by 0-8 to 0-4 at the break, and effectively killed the game off by kicking the first two scores of the second half to open out a six-point advantage.

Another Walsh special followed a Mark Collins free, and even a radical overhaul of his team by Red Hand manager Mickey Harte, who moved Colm Cavanagh and Joe McMahon to the half-forward line and Mattie Donnelly to centre-back, could not turn the tide.

Joe McMahon took over the long-range free-taking duties from goalkeeper Niall Morgan, who was having an off-day, and sliced a 55-metre effort between the posts, with Ronan O'Neill also converting a free, but this was merely token resistance and a comeback never really looked on the cards.

Walsh and Colm O'Neill were on target again at the other end, and Michael Shields and Eoin Cadogan held firm at the back as the Red Hands sensed it was time to go for goal.

They had another chance when Sean Cavanagh sent substitute Martin Penrose through, but he drilled his shot into the side netting.

And Conor Gormley's effort to drop a free into the mix was over-cooked and went all the way over for a point.

Cork were irresistible on this, their most impressive form of the season to date, and pushed on for a big win with late scores from O'Neill and Kerrigan.

Man of the match: A Walsh (Cork)

SCORERS – Cork: C O'Neill 0-5 (3f), A Walsh 0-3, P Kerrigan, D O'Connor 0-2 each, M Collins (f), B O'Driscoll 0-1 each. Tyrone: R O'Neill 0-2 (1f), S Cavanagh (f), J McMahon (f), C Gormley (f), K Coney, S O'Neill, M Penrose (f) 0-1 each.

Cork – K O'Halloran 6; M Shields 7, P Kissane 7, E Cadogan 7; T Clancy 6, N O'Leary 6, J O'Sullivan 6; G Canty 8, A Walsh 9; F Goold 7, M Collins 7, P Kerrigan 7; B O'Driscoll 7, C Sheehan 6, C O'Neill 8. Subs: D O'Connor 7 for Sheehan (20), J McLoughlin 6 for O'Sullivan (h-t), C O'Driscoll 6 for B O'Driscoll (53).

Tyrone – N Morgan 6; A McCrory 6, C Gormley 6, C McCarron 5; R McKenna 5, Joe McMahon 6, R McNamee 6; C Cavanagh 5, S Cavanagh 6; P McNeice 5, P Harte 6, Mattie Donnelly 6; K Coney 5, S O'Neill 6, R O'Neill 5. Subs: A Cassidy 4 for McNeice (h-t), Mark Donnelly 5 for R O'Neill (53), C McGinley 4 for McKenna (55), M Penrose 5 for Coney (58).

Ref – C Reilly (Meath).

Irish Independent

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