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National Football League: Tyrone’s revival goes on and on

Laois 0-11 Tyrone 1-12: A few weeks ago Tyrone were staring relegation in the face but after this impressive victory over Laois they not only look safe but are now serious contenders for promotion and a Division Two league final place.

Manager Micky Harte was delighted with his side’s spirited performance.

“That was the best 70 minutes of football we have played this year and it is a great boost for us,” he said.

“The lads played extremely well and in difficult conditions got some great scores.”

There was much to admire about this display with some fine individual performances in a vintage Tyrone style of team football.

Kevin Hughes and Aidan Cassidy were on top in the middle of the field while up front Brian McGuigan, Colm Kavanagh and Martin Penrose were all in terrific form.

A superb opening half was enough for Tyrone to claim the two precious league points on offer as they beat table toppers Laois at O’Moore Park Portlaoise.

While Laois scored first through Billy Sheehan, Tyrone quickly took command and hit four points in succession through Brian McGuigan, Colm Cavanagh, Sean Cavanagh and Owen Mulligan.

Then 14 minutes into the game the visitors struck for a superb goal when a great team move ended with a high ball into the square and Colm Cavanagh was there to fist it past the advancing Laois keeper.

Tyrone went on to lead 1-7 to 0-3 at half time with further scores from Kevin Hughes and two excellent points in succession from Brian McGuigan.

Harte was full praise for Colm Cavanagh.

“That goal showed real courage from Colm,” he added.

“He could just have easily pulled back with the big goalkeeper advancing but he went for it and just got the touch and showed his commitment and courage.”

Laois were a different side in the second half and took the game to Tyrone and outscored them eight points to five but while they got within three points they could not get the goal that would have changed the game in their favour and Tyrone just did enough for a four point victory.

Harte was now looking to the future with confidence and optimism.

“We have to look forward now and see that we have a real chance of promotion and maybe a league final in Croke Park but that could well be out of our hands depending on other results,” he said.

The defeat is a setback for Justin McNulty's side — who had opened with three straight wins — but have now lost tight battles with Kildare and Tyrone.

“Tyrone's experience told in the end. It's not a worry,” he said.

“It's a work in progress with these boys, but a team giving the effort they did means I've no major concerns.”

Laois: D Maher, R Kehoe, K Meaney (0-1),P O’Leary, D Strong (0-1), S Julian, P Begley, P Clancy, M Timmons, P Cahillane, J O’Loughlin, C Begley (0-1), R Munnelly (0-2), B Sheehan (0-1), MJ Tierney (0-5). Subs: G Kavanagh for Cahillane, P Lawlor for Kehoe, D Kingston for Sheehan

Tyrone: P McConnell, C McCarron, D McCaul, D Carlin, D Harte, C Gormley, R McMenamin, K Hughes (0-1), A Cassidy, C Cavanagh (1-1), B McGuigan (0-3), S Kavanagh (0-3), M Penrose (0-2), S O’Neill, O Mulligan (0-10. Subs: S O’Neill for McCarron, J McMahon for Steven O’Neill, M Donnelly (0-1) for C Cavanagh.

Referee: M Collins Cork).

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