Tyrone win replay with five-goal landslide

Tyrone 5-18 Cavan 2-17

Tyrone will contest their first Ulster SFC final since 2010 later this month, a crack at the Anglo-Celt Cup secured by a replay landslide at St Tiernach’s Park, where they stunned Cavan with a five-goal blast, writes Francis Mooney.

In the drawn game, it was the Breffni men who went on a goal blitz, but this time they were on the receiving end, with Peter Harte hitting the net twice in the first half, before Connor McAliskey, Rory Brennan and Mark Bradley added further three-pointers after the break.

Manager Mickey Harte will be somewhat disappointed at the concession of 19 scores, but an opportunity to finally turn the tables on Donegal is as enticing as it gets in the northern province.

Connor McAliskey of Tyrone celebrates after scoring his side's third goal of the game at St Tiemach's Park. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Connor McAliskey of Tyrone celebrates after scoring his side's third goal of the game at St Tiemach's Park. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Cavan looked lively and dangerous in the opening stages, with Cian Mackey popping up just about everywhere to take on the Tyrone defence, and Martin Reilly raiding from deep.

They had early scores from David Givney and Gearoid McKiernan, but Tyrone soon had the measure of their opponents, and U21 star Cathal McShane was in the mood.

He swung over a couple of mighty points, and had a hand in a number of positive moves as the Red Hands moved forward with menace.

The sides were level on four occasions during a fast-moving, end-to-end opening 18 minutes, with Reilly, Mackey and Killian Clarke all finding the target for Cavan, and Connor McAliskey, Niall Sludden and Mattie Donnelly hitting Tyrone points.

But the game took a dramatic turn early in the second quarter, with Peter Harte netting twice in the space of two minutes.

It was McShane who sent him in to smash an unstoppable finish past Raymond Galligan, and before Cavan had time to recover, he had a simple tap-in, after Tiernan McCann had been thwarted by Galligan.

Converted frees from Harte and goalkeeper Niall Morgan made it a nine points game, ebfore a couple of McKiernan frees narrowed the gap.

Cavan had penalty appeals turned down in stoppage time when Tomas Corr was hatled in his tracks by Ronan McNabb, and at the break, they trailed by 2-8 to 0-7.

A devastating counter-attack produced a third Tyrone goal eight minutes into the second half.

Once possession was turned over deep in their own half, the ball was moved quickly by Sean Cavanagh to McAliskey, who sprinted in from 65 metres to plant a low shot past Galligan.

The game was up for Cavan by the 50th minute, when Ronan O’Neill and McAliskey combined for substitute Rory Brennan to finish with the fist at the far post with his first touch.

When Sean Cavanagh punched over his second point, the Red Hands led by 14 points, and were well on their way to the provincial final.

Cavan did pull back a goal through Mackey, and as gaps opened up in the Tyrone defence, there were points for McKieranan, Feargal Flanagan, Copnor Moynagh and Mackey.

But there was to be no stopping the rampant Red Hnads, who claimed a fith goal in stoppage time, through substitute Mark Bradley.

Jack Brady’s late strike was merely an irritation for a Tyrone side that still ran out ten points winners.

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-1, f), A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, T McCann, J McMahon (0-1), R McNabb, C Cavanagh, M Donnelly (0-3), C McShane (0-2), P Harte (2-4, 0-1f), N Sludden (0-1), C McAliskey (1-2, 0-1f), S Cavanagh (0-2), R O’Neill.

Subs: R Brennan (1-0) for McNabb, D McCurry for C Cavanagh, J Munroe (0-01) for McShane, M Bradley (1-1) for O’Neill, P Hampsey for McNamee, B Tierney for Sludden

Cavan: R Galligan (0-1, ’45), K Brady, R Dunne, J McEnroe, F Flanagan (0-1), C Moynagh (0-2), N Murray, T Corr, K Clarke (0-1), D McVeety, G McKiernan (0-7, 4f), M Reilly (0-1), D Givney (0-1), C Mackey (1-3), E Keating.

Subs: J Brady (1-0) for Givney, J McLoughlin for McEnroe, C Brady for K Brady, P Faulkner for Murray, M Argue for Reilly, G Smith for McVeety

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).


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