Sport Gaelic Football

Monday 22 January 2018

Rampant Tyrone humiliate woeful Offaly

TYRONE 1-27 OFFALY 0-8 All-Ireland SFC Qual Rd 1

Offaly’s Daithi Brady chases Matthew Donnelly of Tyrone
Offaly’s Daithi Brady chases Matthew Donnelly of Tyrone

Tyrone performed a ruthless demolition job on a demoralised Offaly side at Tullamore, recording a massive 22-point win.

The Red Hand travelled to the midlands bidding to get their championship challenge back on track, and while they eased a step closer to the All-Ireland quarter-finals, they will have gained little else from this stroll in O'Connor Park.

Mickey Harte's side go into the bowl for tomorrow morning's second-round draw, and for Offaly, it will be a long summer of inactivity on both the hurling and football fronts.

From the moment Sean Cavanagh slotted over the opening point in the second minute, Tyrone were able to slice through a fragile Offaly defence at will.

Darren McCurry helped himself to a seven-point haul in the first half, five of them from play, while Mattie Donnelly and Cavanagh hit three each.

The gulf in class was painfully evident, with the home side failing totally in their attempts to work the ball through a well-organised rearguard, and toiling vainly as they trailed in the wake of opponents breaking at pace.

Many of Tyrone's scores were crafted from deep, and by the time Peter Cunningham registered Offaly's opening score from a 31st-minute free, the Red Hand had raised 14 white flags.

They led by 0-15 to 0-1 at the interval, and never lost their grip on the game, despite Offaly's improved showing in the third quarter, when substitute Ciaran Hurley smashed a fierce shot against the crossbar.

Cavanagh also fired in a shot which netminder Alan Mulhall did well to stop, and Conor McAliskey somehow sliced the ball high and over with the net at his mercy, but substitute Ronan O'Neill rifled in the game's only goal in the 61st minute.

Scorers – Tyrone: R O'Neill 1-2, D McCurry 0-8 (3f), S Cavanagh 0-6 (5f), Mattie Donnelly 0-3, C McAliskey, Mark Donnelly, C Clarke 0-2 each, C McGinley, K Coney (f) 0-1 each. Offaly: K Casey 0-4 (2f), P Bracken, P Cunningham (f), B Darby, C Hurley 0-1 each.

Tyrone: P McConnell; R McKenna, D McBride, C McCarron; C Clarke, P Harte, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; Mattie Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, Ciaran McGinley; D McCurry, M Penrose, C McAliskey. Subs: Joe McMahon for C Cavanagh (h-t), R O'Neill for McCurry (51), A Cassidy for Clarke (56), K Coney for Penrose (60), J Lafferty for Mattie Donnelly (63).

Offaly: A Mulhall; B Darby, P McConway, S Sullivan; E Carroll, D Kelly, D Hanlon; A McNamee, J Brickland; G Guilfoyle, P Cunningham, N Darby; D Corbett, N McNamee, K Casey. Subs: P Bracken for Brickland (14), C Hurley for Guilfoyle (23), D Currams for Kelly (25), R Allen for A McNamee (39), P Bracken for Carroll (49).

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath)

Irish Independent

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