Tyrone eased through to the Super 8s by effortlessly brushing Cavan aside at Clones, 1-20 to 0-7.
Both these sides had their Ulster aspirations ended by Anglo-Celt Cup winners Donegal, but there was clear daylight between them today, with Peter Harte and Cathal McShane clipping over five points apiece and substitute Ben McDonnell netting late on.
The winners advance to Group Two of the Super 8s and will open their All-Ireland quarter-final programme away to Roscommon next Saturday night. Dublin and Cork are the other two teams in that section.
One concern for Tyrone is that the influential Harte was black-carded in injury time – his third black card of the year which means that bar a successful appeal he will sit out the Rossies game.
Last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists completely bossed the first half and were full value for their commanding nine-point half-time advantage, 0-12 to 0-3, outscoring the hapless beaten Ulster finalists by ten points to one from the twelfth minute until the short whistle.
When McShane tapped over a free from in front of the posts – moved forward for dissent – the Red Hands led by six points to two with 22 minutes played. The first four points had been shared but Niall Sludden, Niall Morgan (free), Colm Cavanagh and McShane from the aforementioned free fired Mickey Harte’s dominant charges into a commanding position.
Niall Murray opening the scoring as the Breffni County led for the only time in the match, Brian Kennedy and Morgan (free) replying before opposing custodian Raymond Galligan replied. Three unanswered Darren McCurry points from play – bringing the winners’ scoring sequence to seven in a row – made it nine points to two and McShane lofted over a free after Conor Madden knocked over Cavan’s first score in 15 minutes.
When Harte slotted over a free from in front of the Gerry Arthurs Stand, the gap was a massive eight points with just two minutes left before the break. Another McShane free closed the first-half scoring and the break arrived with this game over as any sort of meaningful contest.
Cavan's Barry Fortune congratulates Frank Burns of Tyrone at the final whistle. ©INPHO/Bryan Keane.
Mickey Graham’s words ringing in their ears, the Ulster finalists struck first blood upon the resumption, Gerard Smith on target, but the Red Hands replied in style as Sludden hammered his shot over the bar on 40 minutes, followed quickly by another Harte free, making it a ten-point game.
Harte cancelled out a Gearoid McKiernan free and, in the 15th minute of the second half, McShane thumped over a classic full forward’s point to make it 0-16 to 0-5. Another terrific McShane effort flew over 90 seconds later and – nine minutes from the end – substitute McDonnell plundered the goal that left 15 points between the sides.
Conall McCann and Harte (two) added to the winners’ tally and it really was every bit as easy for them as they could have wished for in their wildest dreams.
Tyrone - N Morgan (0-2, 1f, 1'45); HP McGeary, R McNamee, R Brennan; M Cassidy, F Burns, C Meyler; C Cavanagh (0-1), B Kennedy (0-1); M Donnelly, N Sludden (0-2), P Harte (0-5, 4f); D McCurry (0-3), C McShane (0-5, 3f), K McGeary. Subs: K Coney for D McCurry, P Hampsey for HP McGeary, M McKernan for M Cassidy, B McDonnell (1-0) for K McGeary, C McCann (0-1) for N Sludden, R Donnelly for C McShane.
Cavan - R Galligan; J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, C Moynagh; C Rehill, K Clarke, Ciaran Brady; Conor Brady, G McKiernan (0-2f); N Murray (0-2f), D McVeety (0-1), G Smith (0-1); B Fortune, C Mackey, M Reilly. Subs: C Madden (0-1) for C Rehill, O Kiernan for J McLoughlin, C O’Reilly for Conor Brady, S Murray for M Reilly, T Galligan for K Clarke (BC), K Brady for P Faulkner.
Referee - B Cassidy.Tweet