Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

National Football League: Tyrone 1-16 Antrim 1-11

Tyrone are back in the hunt for promotion from Division Two of the Allianz National league after beating Antrim at Healy Park yesterday.

The Saffrons led by two points at the break, but in the second-half there was only one side in it as wind assisted Tyrone took over.

This result leaves the Red Hands on four points and manager Mickey Harte was pleased with his side’ second-half display.

“Antrim finished the first-half strongly and we somehow found ourselves behind at the break, but I was happy with the way that we played in the second-half,” said Harte.

“We moved the ball well and took some fine scores and I was particularly impressed with Kevin Hughes who scored four fine points.”

Antrim began positively with points from Paddy Cunningham, Tony Scullion and Kevin McGourty, but despite playing against the wind Tyrone began to get on top.

Sean Cavanagh and Hughes both had points before the former collected a pass from his brother Colm to fire low to the bottom left hand corner of the net for his third goal in as many games.

Hughes then hit a point with his right and one with his left as Tyrone raced into a 1-6 to1-5 lead, but they failed to score for the rest of the half as Antrim enjoyed their best spell of the game.

Cunningham hit two frees before a flowing five-man move ended with Thomas McCann taking a pass from Kevin Brady to shoot to the net with what proved to be the last action of the half as they led 1-8 to 1-6.

Any thoughts that the Saffrons had of causing an upset were quickly dispelled as they failed to register a single score in the third quarter.

Tyrone on the other hand had no such problems in front of the posts with halfbacks Davy Harte and Conor Gormley both getting forward to hit eye catching scores with Stephen O’Neill getting his name on the score sheet as well.

A McCann free finally opened Antrim’s second-half account after 55 minutes, but Tyrone had a grip on the game and they weren’t going to let go. Martin Penrose and Colm Cavanagh added points with Joe McMahon coming off the bench to hit a beauty with the outside of his boot from the right wing.

With Hughes and Aidan Cassidy on top in midfield there was no way back for Antrim although Tyrone had goalkeeper Johnny Curran to thank for a superb double save to deny both McCann and Aodhan Gallagher.

Cunningham and substitute Mark Sweeney has points for Antrim, but it was only academic at that stage as Tyrone’ s second-half performance left them comfortable winners in the end.

Tyrone: J Curran, Sean O’Neill, D McCaul, D Carlin, D Harte (0-1), C Gormley (0-1), R McMenamin, K Hughes (0-4), A Cassidy, C Cavanagh (0-1), B McGuigan, S Cavanagh [1-3], M Penrose (0-3), Stephen O’Neill (0-2), O Mulligan. Subs: Joe McMahon (0-1)for McGuigan, Justin McMahon for Carlin, M Donnelly for Hughes

Antrim: C Kerr, J Laverty, A McClean, K O’Boyle, T Scullion (0-1), J Crozier, T O’Neill, K McGourty (0-2), S Burke, A Gallagher, K Brady, C Murray, P Cunningham (0-5), M Dougan (0-1), B Herron. C Brady for McClean, T McCann (1-1) for Dougan, M Sweeney (0-1) for Brady, R Johnston for Laverty, A Douglas for O’Boyle

Referee: C Brannigan (Down).

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk