Tipperary 0-7 Tyrone 0-19: Tyrone power past the threat of Tipp
Tyrone secured their 28th win in the All-Ireland qualifiers when they turned on the style in the second half to ease past Tipperary at Semple Stadium in Thurles on Saturday afternoon.
It was a first ever meeting between the two counties at senior championship level and it looked as though the visitors were going to struggle to break down their opponents after only leading by the minimum margin at the interval in a first half where they made too many elementary mistakes.
Time and again they threatened to carve open the Tipperary defence only for the final ball to let them down and with Kevin O'Halloran proving unerring from frees the Premier County were well in contention by the short whistle.
On the stroke of half-time a scuffle broke out involving a number of players and it was Tipperary who looked to be in the ascendency as they left the field.
Over the years though Tyrone have found themselves in this position on numerous occasions and once again they game up trumps when questions were being asked of them.
Points straight out of the top drawer from corner forwards Connor McAliskey and Darren McCurry in the opening moments of the second half sent them on their way and the game was over as a contest by the time Tipperary substitute Liam Casey was sent off for stamping 15 minutes from time.
During that second half Tyrone outscored their opponents 0-12 to 0-1 with McAliskey, McCurry, Mattie Donnelly and Sean Cavanagh all to the fore, the latter making a record breaking 76th championship appearance for the Red Hands. Tyrone completely snuffed out the Tipperary attack on a day when they conceded only two points from play and while no doubt tougher tests lie ahead, the visitors showed enough to demonstrate that they have the potential to be back at Croke Park when the championship reaches the business end.
Tyrone were out of the traps quickly and by the 8th minute they had built up a 0-3 to 0-0 advantage with Cavanagh on target from play either side of frees from McAliskey and McCurry. O'Halloran and McCurry then exchanged frees before Tipperary enjoyed a purple patch that yielded points from O'Halloran, Michael Quinlivan and Robbie Kiely to bring them level.
Peter Harte then weighed in with an outstanding point from distance and after Cavanagh had found the range again Harte benefited from good approach play from Tiernan McCann to leave three between the sides.
It looked as though Tyrone would kick on from there approaching half-time but instead it was Tipperary who finished the stronger with O'Halloran knocking over two long range frees to leave it 0-7 to 0-6 at the short whistle.
Tipperary certainly looked fired up as they left the field but they were unable to build on that on the resumption as Tyrone took the game by the scruff of the neck.
A patient build up saw the ball played into the left corner to McAliskey and there appeared to be no danger but he left his man for dead before angling over a superb score and they never looked back.
McCurry followed that up with an equally outstanding point from the opposite flank and as Tyrone upped the ante the hosts had no response.
A brilliant attack saw Tyrone open the Tipperary defence with McCurry narrowly missing the top right hand corner of the net as the ball flew over the bar. Mattie Donnelly, who had an indifferent first half, then really came to the fore.
He landed the score of the game from out on the right wing and suddenly Tyrone were seven points to the good. Tipperary substitute Liam Casey was only on the field when he was correctly straight red carded for stamping on Colm Cavanagh's back.
As the home side lost their discipline, Tyrone turned the screw with wave after wave of attacks. McAliskey landed a couple of frees as well as hitting an outstanding point from play with the outside of his boot while Donnelly weighed in with another brace as well.
O'Halloran's fifth placed ball was Tipperary's only score of the second half as a rampant Tyrone closed the game out with record breaking captain Cavanagh fisting over the final point.
Tipperary: E Comerford, C McDonald, P Codd, R Kiely (0-1), S Kennedy, P Acheson, A Campbell, C O'Riordan, S O'Brien, B Fox, C Sweeney, G Mulhair, K O'Halloran (0-5), M Quinlivan (0-1), P Austin. Subs - B Mulvihill for O'Riordan, B Grogan for Austin, J Lonergan for Sweeney, C O'Shaughnessy for Mulhair, L Casey for O'Brien, J Feehan for McDonald (black card)
Tyrone: N Morgan, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, Ronan McNabb, J McMahon, P Harte (0-2), C Cavanagh, M Donnelly (0-3), T McCann, M Bradley, C Meyler, D McCurry (0-5), S Cavanagh (0-3), C McAliskey (0-5). Subs - C McCann (0-1) for McCurry, R O'Neill for Bradley, C Clarke for C Cavanagh, P McNulty for Harte, B Tierney for Meyler, C McShane for McAliskey.
Referee: D Gough (Meath)