Tyrone see off Louth challenge

Tyrone 1-12 Louth 1-7

Tyrone 1-12 Louth 1-7

Tyrone did it at the second attempt today, keeping the defence of their All-Ireland SFC title alive with a replay win over Louth at Omagh.

The Red Hands managed just two points in the second half, but they did enough to ensure that Louth were unable to repeat the sort of rousing comeback that had set Pairc Tailteann alight last weekend.

It was quite an explosive start from Tyrone. After Darren Clarke had given Louth the lead from an early free, the Red Hands slipped into overdrive and hit 1-6 without reply between the third and 12th minutes.

The recalled Colm McCullagh hit two excellent points from play, and in the sixth minute a sweeping move involving Martin Penrose, Colin Holmes an Ryan Mellon ended with Enda McGinley, making his first start since last year's All-Ireland final, punching to the net.

Clarke did hit another point, their first in 26 minutes, but McCullagh proved his precious worth yet again with two more delectable scores from play.

Mark Stanfield drilled a '45' between the posts, but the Red Hands were coasting, 10 points clear at the break on 1-10 to 0-3.

The Wee County made a promising start to the second half, narrowing the gap with scores from Mark Brennan and substitute Aaron Hoey, before Stanfield curled over an inspirational effort from close to the sideline.

Louth restricted their opponents to a single point in the opening 20 minutes of the second half and Tyrone were reduced to 14 men with 15 minutes to play when Ryan Mellon picked up a second yellow card for a reckless challenge on David Brennan.

Louth were right back in it in the 58th minute when goalkeeper John Devine failed to deal with a dropping delivery and the tireless Paddy Keenan nipped in to bundle the ball over the line from close range.

Now it was 1-11 to 1-7 and there was a glimmer of hope for the Leinster men.

But Sean Cavanagh was still running with the boundless energy he had been displaying all afternoon and Tyrone composed themselves to close out the game and advance to the draw for the second round of the Qualifiers.

Tyrone: J Devine, P McConnell, R McMenamin, C McGinley, M McGee, D Harte, C Gormley, P Jordan, C Holmes, S Cavanagh (0-1), R Mellon (0-2), R Mulgrew, E McGinley (1-0), M Penrose (0-2), O Mulligan (0-2, 1 free), C McCullagh (0-5, 1 free).

Subs: J McMahon for Holmes, C Gourley for Gormley

Louth: S Reynolds, D Brennan, C Goss, J Carr, R Finnegan, P McGinnity, J Neary, M Farrelly, P Keenan (1-0), C Grimes, M Brennan (0-1), J O'Brien, JP Rooney, M Stanfield (0-2, 1 '45'), D Clarke (0-2, 1 free).

Subs: A Hoey (0-2, 1 free) for Neary, B White for Grimes, T O'Brien for Clarke, A Page for D Brennan, M Fanning for Rooney

Referee: G O Conamha (Galway)

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