Saturday 24 March 2018

McCurry steps up to plate as Tyrone cruise through

Tyrone 1-16
Roscommon 0-8


Mickey Harte hailed the latest attacking star to burst onto the Red Hand scene after teenage debutant Darren McCurry sparkled at Hyde Park.

McCurry was called into the squad just a few weeks ago in the midst of an injury crisis, but displayed class and poise as a 42nd-minute substitute, hitting four sublime points from play as the Red Hands cruised through to the third phase of the All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers.

"We have been seeing him in training, we've seen what we can do," said Harte. "He came into our squad and he felt at home the first day that he came in, and we were confident that he would be able to make a serious contribution.

"He showed just the quality of player that he is and what he is capable of becoming."

In the absence of the injured Stephen O'Neill, Owen Mulligan also stepped up to the plate with a five-point tally as Tyrone outclassed the Rossies with a compelling second-half display.

"That's the name of the game, it's a squad affair nowadays," said Harte. "Stevie was obviously a huge loss to us, a scoring forward of his calibre. Mugsy took the responsibility on and kept us in the game in the first half."

Harte felt his side were flattered to be three points ahead after playing with the wind in the first half, but delighted with the quality of the second-half display.

"It was a very good second-half performance. I suppose we needed that, for we struggled a bit in the first half, and despite the fact that we had the breeze with us, we struggled a bit, and we found scores hard to come by. They were the energetic side in the first half and were a bit hard done by to go in three points down.

"We got the scores at the vital time in that half, because in the last five of six minutes, we really got a hold of the game, and were maybe a little bit flattered by the three-point lead at half-time, but glad to have it.

The loss of full-forward and captain O'Neill due to injury dealt Tyrone a pre-match blow, but his replacement, debutant Johnny Lafferty, set up the opening score for Joe McMahon.

The usually reliable Donie Shine sent three placed balls wide before he finally opened his account from play in the 19th minute, after Cathal Cregg had shot the Rossies' first score.

With Ian Kilbride pushing forward from the back and Karol Mannion an influential figure at midfield, the Connacht men showed no fear, and pushed forward to go level through Senan Kilbride in the 30th minute.

But with McMahon stepping it up in midfield, Tyrone finished the half strongly. Owen Mulligan steered over a superb point, and it was Lafferty's stoppage-time score that sent them in with a 0-7 to 0-4 lead.

Peter Harte slotted home a penalty three minutes into the second half after Niall Carty had hauled down Mark Donnelly, and when Mulligan nailed his fourth score from a free, the Red Hands led by seven.

Substitute McCurry made an instant impact with two tidy points, and Tyrone's discipline, method and organisation came to the fore as the Roscommon challenge faded.

Cregg pulled back a couple of Roscommon scores, but the home side's challenge had long since been spent, and with McCurry slotting two more, Tyrone coasted through to tomorrow morning's draw.

Scorers -- Tyrone: O Mulligan 0-5 (2f), D McCurry 0-4, P Harte 1-0 (pen), J McMahon (1f), M Penrose (1f) 0-2 each, N McKenna, S O'Neill, J Lafferty 0-1 each. Roscommon: C Cregg 0-4, D Shine 0-2 (1f), S Kilbride, G Heneghan (f) 0-1 each.

Tyrone: P McConnell; A McCrory, C Clarke, D Carlin; C McCarron, C Gormley, Sean O'Neill; J McMahon, C Cavanagh; Mattie Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, P Harte; M Penrose, J Lafferty, O Mulligan. Subs: R McMenamin for McCarron, D McCurry for Lafferty, B McGuigan for Mark Donnelly, A Cassidy for Cavanagh, N McKenna for Penrose

Roscommon: G Claffey; S McDermott, N Carty, S Purcell; N Colins, P Domican, I Kilbride; C Shine, K Mannion; N Kilroy, C Cregg, N Daly; S Kilbride, C Compton, D Shine. Subs: G Heneghan for Kilroy, D Ward for Collins, M Finneran for Compton, D McDermott for Daly, D Smith for Mannion

Referee: R Hickey (Clare).

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