Tyrone ease past Roscommon to set up clash with Dublin

Tyrone 3-19 Roscommon 1-14

Tyrone 3-19 Roscommon 1-14

Tyrone turned in a dominant second half display to end Roscommon’s interest in the All-Ireland Championship with a 3-19 to 1-14 defeat.

Sean Cavanagh was back to his inspirational best with a 2-3 haul, helping the Red Hands garner a win that was not as easy as the scoreline suggests.

Mickey Harte’s men are through to face familiar quarter-final opponents Dublin at Croke Park next Saturday night (throw-in 7pm). The counties have met three times at this stage of the Championship in recent years.

Tyrone posted wins in both 2005 and 2008 on the way to lifting the Sam Maguire Cup, while Dublin were victorious by 1-15 to 0-13 when they clashed twelve months ago.

In today’s fourth round qualifier, Tyrone pushed on after taking a 1-9 to 1-8 lead into half-time, aided by their experience-laden bench and clinching goals from Cavanagh and Mark Donnelly.

Roscommon’s influential midfielder Karol Mannion and Cavanagh traded goals during a bright, expansive first half that was high on entertainment value.

Roscommon were right up for the counties’ first ever Championship meeting which produced some thrilling action. Donie Shine and Senan Kilbride proved a handful for the Tyrone rearguard early on.

The sides shared out 2-17 in the first 35 minutes and only three of those points came from frees, with the fired-up Rossies playing the better football.

The beaten Connacht finalists kept their starting line-up under wraps until the last possible moment, with injury concerns Donal Ward and Kilbride thankfully pulling through.

First-time starter Darren McDermott came in as the only change to the team that lost the Connacht final to Mayo, starting in place of Conor Devaney at top of the right.

Tyrone boss Harte kept faith with the side that beat Armagh last weekend, meaning starts again for Sean O’Neill at wing back and Kyle Coney and Peter Harte in attack.

Kevin Hughes and Brian McGuigan posted early wides before Sean Cavanagh launched over the opening point, 30 metres out from goal.

Cathal Cregg got Roscommon level in the sixth minute, injecting some much-needed pace into a right-sided attack. Shine and Kevin Hughes then swapped scores, as the intensity increased.

Coney showed good composure when firing over Tyrone’s third point and after Shine laid off for Kilbride to split the posts, Brian McGuigan replied to make it 0-4 to 0-3.

Both defences were guilty of poor marking in the opening quarter, and Shine curled over a free into an empty Hill 16 for the equalising point.

Conor Gormley scrambled superbly to block a Shine effort on goal, but the corner forward soon swept over his third point as the Rossies’ direct style paid off.

Some solid approach work, with Colm Cavanagh running from deep, teed up Coney for his second white flag and the sides were level again at 0-5 apiece.

It was an entertaining, free-flowing encounter with both midfield combinations fighting furiously for possession and defenders taking the responsibility to carry forward and provide pinpoint deliveries.

Sean Cavanagh right-footed his side ahead from a free, however Roscommon were hugely combative and purposeful in their play.

There was some excellent skill on show as Karol Mannion, who set up a number of scores, played in Darren McDermott for another encouraging point.

Kilbride then kicked them ahead and a mistake by Tyrone goalkeeper Pascal McConnell was punished by Mannion for a 27th minute goal.

McConnell took the wrong option when trying to punch Cregg’s delivery clear from his goalmouth and Mannion lapped up the loose ball and blasted it into the far corner of the net.

Disappointingly for the vocal Roscommon faithful, Shine and Kilbride increased their wides tally and Tyrone hit back with a tremendous goal of their own.

With 29 minutes on the clock, Coney picked up possession and fed Sean Cavanagh who powered through the heart of the Roscommon defence and beat goalkeeper Geoffrey Claffey with a classy finish into the bottom corner.

Peter Harte followed up with a pointed free - levelling the game at 1-7 apiece - and a fisted effort from Colm Cavanagh gave the Ulster side a slender advantage.

That did not last long however. Shine, who picked up a slight hamstring injury, was the provider again for Kilbride’s third point from play.

The psychological edge swung to the Red Hands though as Cavanagh launched over the lead point from near the Cusack Stand, after a poor miss from Shine.

Into the second half, Mannion responded in impressive fashion for Roscommon with an early point. Worryingly though, their wides tally grew to ten.

Half-time substitute Owen Mulligan, who came on along with Brian Dooher, created the opening for Brian McGuigan to kick Tyrone ahead once more at 1-10 to 1-9.

Full-forward Mark Donnelly added another to stretch the lead to two points, and experienced defender Philip Jordan dummied forward to put his name on the scoresheet.

The game seemed to be slipping away from Roscommon as Peter Harte landed a ‘45’ and Sean O’Neill picked off a well-taken point from play, leaving the Rossies 1-14 to 1-9 adrift.

That burst of five points on the trot gave Tyrone the momentum to see out their third win in the qualifiers.

Roscommon managed to close the gap to three again, McDermott, Shine (free) and Mannion all scoring to cancel out a neat strike from Mulligan.

Fergal O’Donnell’s charges were beginning to find their stride again as Kilbride knocked over a free and had another shot blocked.

Substitute David O’Gara also missed a scoring chance with the deficit at just two points.

Tyrone needed to respond and it took a fisted point from Colm Cavanagh to get them back in the scoring groove at 1-16 to 1-13. Another pinpoint placed ball from Harte extended the lead back to a more comfortable four.

There was no way back for Roscommon and with time running out, Tyrone put a somewhat flattering gloss on the scoreline.

After a defensive mix-up, man-of-the-match Cavanagh stormed through to rasp home his second goal. Donnelly also found the net with a powerful shot that finished on the bottom left corner.

Scorers:

Tyrone: Sean Cavanagh 2-3 (0-1f), Mark Donnelly 1-1, Peter Harte 0-4 (0-3f, 0-1 ‘45’), Kyle Coney, Brian McGuigan, Colm Cavanagh 0-2 each, Kevin Hughes, Philip Jordan, Sean O’Neill, Owen Mulligan, Conor Gormley 0-1 each

Roscommon: Karl Mannion 1-2, Donie Shine (0-2f), Senan Kilbride (0-1f) 0-4 each, Darren McDermott 0-2, Cathal Cregg, John Rogers (0-1f) 0-1 each

TYRONE: Pascal McConnell; Martin Swift, Joe McMahon, Ryan McMenamin (capt); Sean O'Neill, Conor Gormley, Philip Jordan; Kevin Hughes, Sean Cavanagh; Colm Cavanagh, Brian McGuigan, Peter Harte; Tommy McGuigan, Mark Donnelly, Kyle Coney.

Subs used: Owen Mulligan for Coney, Brian Dooher for T McGuigan (both half-time), Justin McMahon for McMenamin (51 mins), Davy Harte for C Cavanagh (70), Stephen O’Neill for B McGuigan (70+3).

ROSCOMMON: Geoffrey Claffey; Seán McDermott, Niall Carty, Sean Purcell; David Keenan, Peter Domican (capt), Donal Ward; Michael Finneran, Karol Mannion; Senan O’Grady, Kevin Higgins, Cathal Cregg; Darren McDermott, Senan Kilbride, Donal Shine.

Subs used: David O’Gara for Higgins (42 mins), Niall Daly for O’Grady (50), John Rogers for D McDermott (57), Conor Devaney for Ward (67), Enda Kenny for Finneran (70+1).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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