Galway 0-13 Tyrone 1-14
Tyrone clinched promotion back to Division One after they picked up their fifth straight win with a four points success at Tuam Stadium.
On an afternoon which produced many positive signs for Mickey Harte’s side, Kyle Coney turned in another sparkling attacking display, Sean Cavanagh played his first full game of the season, and Stephen O’Neill returned from injury.
The only goal of the game was scored by Peter Harte, who fired home a penalty early in the second half, but the Tribesmen had the best goal chances of the game, both falling to full forward Paul Conroy, but he was denied by a superb Johnny Curran save, and later failed to hit the target.
Gary Sice had Galway in front early on with a free, but points from wing back Cathal McCarron and Mark Donnelly had the Red hands ahead by the sixth minute.
Galway, with Kieran McGrath and Gareth Bradshaw always eager to push forward from the back, took the game to the league leaders, but Tyrone had scores from Mattie Donnelly and Owen Mulligan.
The Tribesmen almost got in for a goal in the 13th minute when Danny Cummins slipped in behind the Tyrone defence to collect Diarmaid Blake’s long delivery, but his shot was deflected over the bar by goalkeeper Johnny Curran.
A Nicky Joyce free brought the sides level for the fifth time in the 31st minute, but by this time, torrential rain had made handling extremely difficult.
Ronan McNabb stepped in with a vital interception as Gareth Bradshaw crossed towards Nicky Joyce, with Damian McCaul and PJ Quinn also getting through valuable work at the back as Galway pressed.
Their persistence paid off when Nicky Joyce brought the side level for the fifth time from a 35 metre free in the 31st minute.
There was a huge massive cheer when Tyrone captain Stephen O’Neill, who had missed the previous two games through injury, entered the action in the 32nd minute, and the Red Hands duly opened out a two points lead for the first time, with Mulligan and Kyle Coney both scoring from frees.
Goalkeeper Curran was called upon for the second time to rescue Tyrone when he got down to save superbly from Paul Conroy, and moments later, the Galway forward got in again, but this time slotted a low shot just wide.
Galway continued to threaten, and a superb angled shot from Joyce narrowed the gap.
But the Ulster men were awarded a penalty in the eighth minute for a foul on Peter Harte, who netted himself, despite ‘keeper Adrian Faherty getting a hand to the ball.
Kyle Coney displayed all his talents with three delightful points from play in the space of two minutes as the Division Two leaders eased into a six points lead by the 48th minute.
But the Connacht men dug deep, and Joyce converted a free before Sice thumped over two superb scores.
And the Red Hands were reduced to 14 men when defender PJ Quinn picked up a straight red card with 15 minutes to play following an incident involving substitute Padraig Joyce.
Nevertheless, Tyrone hit three of the next four points, with Mulligan, Cavanagh and Coney, with his fifth, all finding the range.
Late points from Conroy and Padraig Joyce were not enough to rescue Galway, who now have a lot of work to do if they are to win promotion.
Galway: G Sice 0-4 (2f), N Joyce 0-3 (2f), G O’Donnell 0-2, P Conroy,, D Cummins, P Joyce (f), A Faherty (’45) 0-1 each.
Tyrone: P Harte 1-0 (pen), K Coney 0-5 (1f), O Mulligan 0-3 (3f), C McCarron, S Cavanagh, Mark Donnelly, Mattie Donnelly, S O’Neill, M Penrose (f) 0-1 each.
GALWAY: A Faherty, K McGrath, F Hanley, K Kelly, G Bradshaw, D Blake, G O’Donnell, G Higgins, J Bergin, G Sice, D Burke, N Coleman, N Joyce, P Conroy, D Cummins.
Subs: T Flynn for Coleman, M Boyle for Bergin, P Joyce for Cummins, J Duane for Blake, C Bane for Burke
TYRONE: J Curran, A McCrory, Justin McMahon, PJ Quinn, C McCarron, P Harte, D McCaul, M Murphy, S Cavanagh, R McNabb, Mark Donnelly, Mattie Donnelly, K Coney, M Penrose, O Mulligan.
Subs: S O’Neill for Penrose, A Cassidy for Mattie Donnelly, C Cavanagh for Murphy Donnelly, N McKenna for Mark Donnelly, C Gormley for McCrory
Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).