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Roscommon 0-08 Tyrone 1-16

By Kevin Kelly

Prior to the weekend Tyrone had lost only two of the 16 All-Ireland qualifiers that they have played — and they maintained that superb record with an impressive 11 point success over Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park.

After beating Armagh in the previous round the Rossies were eyeing up another Ulster scalp, but after an even opening half hour Tyrone stepped on the gas and a blistering 15 minute spell either side of the interval ultimately decided the contest.

During that period Tyrone hit |1-6 without reply, with the goal proving crucial. Peter Harte expertly sent Roscommon keeper Geoffrey Claffey the wrong way from the penalty spot three minutes into the second half after Mark Donnelly had been fouled.

Once the Red Hands got on top there was no let up on a day when they produced a number of eye catching displays.

Owen Mulligan was back to his brilliant best contributing five points, while teenager Darren McCurry made a major impact when coming off the bench in the second half for his senior debut.

The Edendork lad landed four fine points from play with Dermot Carlin, Conor Gormley, Conor Clarke, Joe McMahon and Peter Harte others who did well on a day when the Red Hands returned to winning ways following their disappointing Ulster semi-final defeat.

Tyrone captain Stephen O’Neill was a late withdrawal due to injury and his replacement Johnny Lafferty provided the assist for McMahon to open the scoring with a well taken point.

The visitors had made a confident start to the game, but while Martin Penrose put them further in front from a free they missed a few chances as well.

In the 11th minute Roscommon centre half forward Cathal Cregg sold a couple of dummies before opening his side’s account, but almost immediately Tyrone responded at the other end of the field following a sharp turn from Mulligan.

Donie Shine then traded points with McMahon before the home side drew level thanks to another point from Shine and one from Senan Kilbride.

It was a real battle with scores at a premium, but crucially Tyrone hit three points in as many minutes at the end of the half to give them a 0-7 to 0-4 lead at the interval.

Mulligan started it off with a peach from the wing and that was followed up by a free from the same player with debutant Lafferty also on target.

The start of the second half was going to be crucial and Tyrone struck first to double their advantage when Mark Donnelly was fouled by Niall Carty and Harte was coolness personified as he converted the resulting penalty.

At that stage there was an air of inevitability about the outcome and Tyrone didn’t let up. Mulligan hit another superb score and two minutes after coming on McCurry showed his class with a well taken point.

Cregg finally opened Roscommon’s second half account with substitute Ger Heneghan converting a free, but sandwiched in between those scores McCurry fired over from an acute angle.

Cregg exchanged points with Penrose and Niall McKenna before Tyrone closed the game out with efforts from Sean O’Neill and McCurry (two) to run out comfortable winners.

Roscommon: G Claffey, S McDermott, N Carty, S Purcell, N Collins, P Domican, I Kilbride, C Shine, K Mannion, N Kilroy, C Cregg (0-4), N Daly, S Kilbride (0-1), C Compton, D Shine (0-2). Subs: G Heneghan (0-1) for Kilroy, D Ward for Collins, D Smith for Mannion, M Finneran for Compton, D McDermott for Daly.

Tyrone: P McConnell, A McCrory, C Clarke, D Carlin, C McCarron, C Gormley, Sean O’Neill (0-1), Joe McMahon (0-2), C Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, P Harte (1-0), M Penrose (0-2), J Lafferty (0-1), O Mulligan (0-5). Subs: R McMenamin for McCarron, B McGuigan for Mark Donnelly, A Cassidy for Cavanagh, N McKenna (0-1) for Penrose, D McCurry (0-4) for Lafferty.

Referee: R Hickey (Clare).

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