Tyrone 0-20 Roscommon 0-11
AN important victory laced with quality performances throughout the field has given Tyrone hurlers the ideal boost in their quest for progress in Division 2B of the National League, as they made home advantage count in this second round clash at Omagh on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Hands worked brilliantly to open up a double-score interval lead. They maintained that form at the start of the second half, and fully merited the nine-point win, despite not scoring for 23 minutes on the resumption.
Tiernan Morgan’s red card came after an outstanding display from him. Others to impress included Cormac Munroe, Aidan Kelly, Oran McKee and Rory Weir as the home team earned their first win of the campaign.
It looked set to be a tough opening period for Tyrone when they faced that very strong wind.
But a disciplined determination throughout the field, combined with a steady attacking approach, ensured that they were soon into their stride.
Swapped points between Jack Donnelly from Roscommon and Mickey Little of Tyrone settled both counties.
From then on, though, the Red Hands looked the more composed side as they focused on making their mark against that wind.
Ruairi Devlin, Oran McKee and Tiernan Morgan excelled in the defence. Ben Gormley worked hard in midfield, while Cormac Munroe, Aidan Kelly and Joe McToal created and used the space to good effect in the attack.
Evidence of Tyrone’s growing confidence was clear when they entered an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
The Rossies responded, courtesy of Darragh Finn and Mickey Joe Egan, who brought them level.
However, from then on, the Red Hands were almost totally on top, as Roscommon’s impact was hit by too many wides.
Tiernan Morgan was proving a pivot of the Tyrone defence at this stage. Add in the movement of Joe McToal, James McCann and Turlough Mullin, and they were soon making their impact on the scoreboard. James McCann re-established their lead, before Aidan Kelly snapped up to score.
Roscommon came close to grabbing a goal when Robbie Fallon fired wide. But Tyrone’s impact was rising, and they finished the half in a flourish with a series of scores which really set them up for the second half.
Tiernan Morgan raced through to score, and then Joe McToal made space for himself to pop over another point to leave the score 0-7 to 0-4. The visitors were struggling at a stage when they must have hoped to be establishing a healthy advantage. Mickey Joe Egan registered a brace for them and Conor Cosgrove, Darragh Finn and Jack Donnelly worked hard.
However, there was no stopping Tyrone. Rory Weir took a pass from Joe McToal to score, then Aidan Kelly converted a free, before Tiernan Morgan added his second after good work from Cormac Munroe. This was the type of play which the Red Hands had sought, and a fine first-half display was completed when Rory Weir and Aidan Kelly left them ‘double-score’ leaders at half-time on a score of 0-12 to 0-6.
More of the same was being demanded on the resumption when the home team enjoyed the benefits of a wind which remained strong.
But they had to be careful to focus on maintaining the momentum and that six-point lead in the second half.
It was, perhaps, inevitable that there would be a downturn in terms of the intensity of this clash.
While both teams continued to battle hard, the strong lead held by Tyrone as they entered the second half ensured that nothing less than a dramatic revival was going to prevent them from forging ahead in that second half.
Mickey Joe Egan briefly reduced the deficit to five points right on the restart. But, from then on, normal service was resumed by the Red Hands, and they really piled on the pressure to effectively put the game beyond reach.
Six points in the third quarter left them enjoying a very commanding 0-18 to 0-8 advantage.
Aidan Kelly got them going with three in a row.
Then, Joe McToal made his mark by scoring from a tight angle.
Tiernan Morgan then added a free, before Rory Weir left them those 10 points ahead with just 12 minutes gone in the second half.
Hopes were high that Tyrone would maintain that level of performance throughout the remainder of the tie. But the red card dismissal of Tiernan Morgan, a number of missed chances and a Roscommon revival ensured that the closing stages were a little more uncomfortable than might have been hoped.
Indeed, the Rossies struck for five points and only a brilliant save from Ciaran McElhatton prevented them from having an even greater impact.
Substitute Paddy Fallon registered three well-taken points from frees. Mickey Joe Egan also scored, and they reduced the deficit to seven points with five minutes of normal time remaining.
But Tyrone settled themselves before the finish again. Fionn and Ruairi Devlin worked well, Oran McKee made a number of fine clearances, and it was Aidan Kelly who coolly fired over the two points in injury time to complete the deserved 0-20 to 0-11 win.
Aidan Kelly 0-10 (4f), Tiernan Morgan 0-3, Rory Weir 0-3, Joe McToal 0-2, Mickey Little 0-1, James McCann 0-1.
Mickey Joe Egan 0-6 (4f), Paddy Mallon 0-3 (3f), Jack Donnelly 0-1, Darragh Finn 0-1.
Conor McElhatton, Dean Rafferty, Ruairi Devlin, Oran McKee, Bryan McGurk, Fionn Devlin, Tiernan Morgan, Ben Gormley, James McCann, Cormac Munroe, Aidan Kelly, Mickey Little, Joe McToal, Turlough Mullin, Rory Weir.
Subs – Seamus Sweeney for M Little (half-time), Mark McClean for J McToal (54), Conall McKee for T Mullin (54).
Brendan Quinn, Mark Ward, James Dillon, Jason Martin, Adam Donnelly, Conor Cosgrove, Darragh Finn, Jack Donnelly, Michael Hussey, Sean Canning, Declan Leonard, Brendan Mulry, Conor Mulry, Robbie Fallon, Mickey Joe Egan.
Subs – Cian Murray for D Leonard (29), James Hardiman for M Hussey (31), Paddy Fallon for B Mulry (48).
Referee – James Connors, Donegal.
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