By Francis Mooney
Carlow 1-10 Tyrone 3-14
Tyrone used all their power and experience to quell the Carlow rising with a dominant second-half performance at Netwatch Cullen Park today.
The Red Hands were never troubled after a promising first quarter of an hour from the Barrowsiders, and it’s the Red Hands who progress comfortably to round three of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.
Goals from Niall Sludden, Peter Harte and Richie Donnelly, all in the second period, blew the Leinster side away, and ended any faint hope they harboured of causing an upset.
Paul Broderick lifted the home crowd with a monster free from 50 metres close to the sideline, and Turlough O’Brien’s men frustrated the visitors with their patient, possession game as they moved forward with lots of lateral movement and limited penetration.
Tyrone were able to force turnovers, with Richie Donnelly profiting to knock over the equaliser in the seventh minute, but the Leinster men went back in front with Darragh Foley’s sliced effort.
Full back Shane Redmond turned back a couple of Tyrone attacks, but Tyrone were beginning to use their pace along the flanks to prise openings.
Frank Burns and Conor Meyler both hit the target to get them in front for the first time in the 15th minute, but seconds later, the Carlow men stunned the reigning Ulster champions with a goal.
It was Broderick who spotted O’Brien and picked him out with a perfect pass, and the talented front man beat Niall Morgan with a crisply struck shot.
That 16th-minute strike was to be their last of the half, however. Tyrone were now stepping up the turnover frequency and winning more than their share of broken possession around the middle, and they pushed forward with conviction.
Connor McAliskey (3) and Mattie Donnelly, with two brilliant points, were on target, and Mickey Harte’s side went in at the break with a 0-8 to 1-2 lead.
Tyrone stretched the home side along the flanks, and a tiring Carlow outfit struggled to break out of their own half, and with Declan McClure, Peter Harte and McAliskey all finding the target, the dream was slipping away.
It all came crashing down in the 48th minute when the Ulster champions got in for their first goal. It was Harte who made ground on the right to slip a pass inside to Sludden, who picked his spot in Robbie Molloy’s net.
Broderick landed a massive free, and Darragh Foley also pulled back a few scores from placed balls, but there was to be no stopping the rampant Red Hands, who kept the scoreboard ticking, and struck for a second goal with five minutes to play.
This time Mattie Donnelly was hauled down as he bore in on goal, and Harte smashed home the penalty to put the game out of sight, Tyrone ahead by ten.
The Carlow men were out on their feet, and Tyrone, with men raiding in support, finished the job off in stoppage time as Conall McCann provided the assist for Richie Donnelly to rifle home goal number three.
Carlow scorers: D O’Brien 1-1, D Foley 0-5 (3f), P Broderick 0-4 (3f).
Tyrone scorers: R Donnelly 1-2, N Sludden 1-1, P Harte 1-1 (1-0 pen), C McAliskey 0-5 (3f), M Donnelly 0-2, F Burns, C Meyler, D McClure 0-1 each.
Carlow: B Molloy; C Crowley, S Redmond, C Lawlor; J Morrissey, D St Ledger, C Moran; S Murphy, E Ruth; S Gannon, D Foley, D Walshe; P Broderick, D O’Brien, J Murphy.
Subs: M Rennick for Walshe (39), B Kavanagh for Moran (49), BJ Molloy for Crowley (54), C Lawlor for J Murphy (54), K Nolan for Morrissey (59), L Walker for O’Brien (60)
Tyrone: N Morgan; P Hampsey, R McNamee, C McCarron; M McKernan, F Burns, P Harte; C Cavanagh, D McClure; M Donnelly, N Sludden, C Meyler; C McShane, R Donnelly, C McAliskey.
Subs: K McGeary for McAliskey (59), R O’Neill for Sludden (60), P McNulty for McShane (61), C McCann for M Donnelly (66), A McCrory for McCarron (70)
Referee: C Lane (Cork).