Tyrone open league account against Sligo

Sligo 0-15 Tyrone 2-15

Sligo 0-15 Tyrone 2-15

Tyrone got off the mark with their first league points of the season following a much-improved performance at Markievicz Park.

Sean Cavanagh and Stephen O’Neill led the way with a volley of wonderful second-half scores, with Cavanagh hitting 1-5 to signal his return to top form.

This was a vital result for the Red Hands, lifting them off the bottom of the table, but Sligo emerged from this contest still in deep trouble and looking for their first win of the season.

Tyrone played with the assistance of a strong wind in the first half, and eased ahead with early points from Owen Mulligan and Martin Penrose.

Mark Breheny got Sligo off the mark in the fourth minute, and Adrian Marron curled over a gem from the left wing.

But Tyrone got in for a goal in the 10th minute, poked home by Enda McGinley after the Sligo defence failed to clear.

The Connacht men responded positively, with scores from Marron and an excellent point from Breheny.

Tyrone shipped a double blow in the 17th minute when centre back Conor Gormley, who had already been booked, picked up a second yellow card, and goalscorer McGinley was forced out of the game by injury.

Nevertheless, the Red Hands extended their lad to three when Penrose and Sean Cavanagh both converted frees.

And numerical parity was restored on 28 minutes when Breheny, Sligo’s most dangerous attacker, was sent off on a second yellow card.

Substitute Niall McKenna swept over a stoppage time point to send Tyrone in with a 1-6 to 0-5 interval lead.

And despite having a strong wind gusting in their faces, they made a flying start to the second half, substitute Stephen O’Neill scoring with his first touch, before Sean Cavanagh extended the lead to six.

Sligo goalkeeper Philip Greene kept his side in the game with a double save from Cavanagh and O’Neill, and the home side cut into the deficit with two Marron points and long range efforts from Alan Costello and Francis Quinn.

But Sean Cavanagh’s class began to have a telling effect on the contest, and he launched a couple of excellent points, with O’Neill squeezing over a score from an almost impossible angle.

It was O’Neill who provided the exquisite pass for Brian McGuigan to lay the ball off for Cavanagh to slot home Tyrone’s second goal, and the Yeatsmen never recovered, with O’Neill bringing his tally to three.

Sligo: P Greene, C Harrison, B Kennedy, R Donovan, K Cawley, B Egan, P McGovern, T Taylor, S Davey (0-2), A Costello (0-1), E O’Hara, M Breheny (0-2, 1F), A Marren (0-7, 4f), F Quinn (0-2), S Coen (0-1).

Subs: B Curran for Cawley, N Ewing for Egan, P Hughes for Costello

Tyrone: J Curran, A McCrory, D McCaul, PJ Quinn, D Harte, C Gormley, R McMenamin, K Hughes, C Cavanagh, P Harte, B McGuigan (0-1), M Penrose (0-4, 2f), O Mulligan (0-1), S Cavanagh (1-5, 0-3f), E McGinley (1-0).

Subs: N McKenna (0-1) for McGinley, S O’Neill (0-3) for Mulligan, A Cassidy for A Cavanagh, C McCarron for McCaul, M Swift for P Harte.

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).

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