Monday 23 October 2017

Mickey Harte's pep talk does the trick for resurgent Tyrone


Marie Crowe

Marie Crowe

Tyrone cruised past Roscommon in the second round qualifier game in Dr Hyde Park yesterday but needed some strong words from Mickey Harte at half-time to do so.

Although Tyrone held a three-point lead at the break Roscommon were still very much in contention. After the game Sean Cavanagh revealed that manager Mickey Harte let rip at his players, letting them know they weren't performing as they should be.

Harte confirmed this saying "that sometimes he has to make noise".

His words had the desired affect and Tyrone were a different side when they came out after the break. Peter Harte scored a penalty within minutes of the re-start, and the 2008 All-Ireland champions pushed on from there. Darren McCurry earned his manager's praise as he sealed the deal for Tyrone in the 1-16 to 0-8 win, scoring four points when he came off the bench.

"We have been seeing him in training, we've seen what we can do," said Harte of the teenager. "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."

"The next round will be difficult," said Cavanagh. "Most people won't enjoy drawing us, it will be a tough game but if you want to win the All-Ireland you have to beat everyone."

In the first of a triple header in Semple Stadium, Tipperary shocked Wexford, deservedly hanging on in a tight finish to win by 1-13 to 0-15.

Manager Peter Creedon praised the performance of the 20 players that featured in their surprise win but admitted although training was going well he wasn't convinced that victory was on the cards. "The spirit had been good in training but until you go out in championship you don't know for sure," he said.

But his team seemed to know what they were doing; they attacked from the outset and racked up a sizable lead early on. At half-time, they led by 1-6 to 0-6, with Donagh Leahy scoring the goal after 14 minutes. Although Wexford came from seven points down to draw level, Tipperary managed to hold off their challenge.

For the first time in years Longford weren't underdogs going into a championship game, and they failed to live up to their billing. Not many fancied Limerick to secure a result on the road, but that's exactly what they did, winning 1-21 to 1-15 in extra-time.

Longford were ahead by three points going into the final 10 minutes of normal time, but just as in the Leinster championship replay against Wexford they failed to close out the game. With four minutes of stoppage time played Limerick's Derry O'Connor kicked a point to level the game and secure extra-time.

Boosted by their second chance, Limerick took control in extra-time, dominating the play.

Longford didn't do themselves any favours with both Declan Reilly and David Barden seeing red in the second period of extra-time.

"We trained very well since the Clare game," enthused manager Maurice Horan. "We were prepared. We said to keep backing ourselves, we'd have a cut. We focused on what we can do. In fairness to the young guys that came on, they were great."

History was made in Carrick-on-Shannon when Leitrim beat Wicklow 0-13 to 0-10. It was their first ever win in the qualifiers.

Emlyn Mulligan and James Glancy shone for Leitrim finishing the game with 11 points between them.

In Casement Park, Antrim and Galway met for the first time in championship and it's a game Galway will want to forget. In what was a shock result they were sent crashing out of the championship by a spirited Antrim side following a dramatic finale.

Galway were a point up at half-time but failed to move away in the second half despite the introduction of Padraic Joyce, in what may have been his last inter-county game. Five points from Antrim's McCann brothers, Tomas and Michael along with Deaglan O'Hagan's injury-time point helped secure the 0-11 to 0-10 win.

Galway haven't won a championship game outside Connacht since 2004 when they beat Louth.

In hurling, a late goal by Clare's Tony Kelly could not prevent resurgent Limerick from advancing to the All-Ireland quarter-final, thanks to a 3-18 to 1-20 win in Thurles last night.

The damage to Clare's challenge was done in the first half when they shipped three soft goals, which left them always chasing the game.

Limerick will be joined by Cork, who defeted Wexford. Jimmy Barry Murphy said at the start of the year his minimum target was reaching the All-Ireland quarter-final but now he will surely be raising the bar again.

Cork, who had only scored one goal in the championship, got three in the first half and still only two points separated the teams at half-time. Cork got straight to work after the break, knocking over a series of points to win 3-24 to 2-17.

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