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Tyrone 1-12 Meath 0-5

Tyrone may already have promotion and a place in the Division Two final secured but with starting slots up for grabs there was no let up as Meath were put to the sword before five thousand supporters at Healy Park.

Apart from a spell in the first half on Saturday evening when they reduced the deficit to the minimum, the visitors played second fiddle throughout.

For Tyrone it’s onwards and upwards with Mickey Harte pleased with his players’ attitude although he stressed there is still room for improvement.

“It was important for us to drive on even though we were promoted and in the final,” said Harte.

“It was important that the boys went in there with the right attitude and it was difficult to do that but they did it very well.

“We had the upper hand for so long in the second half but having said that I would be disappointed with our last 15 minutes because of the amount of possession that we had and what we made of it just wasn’t good enough.”

Tyrone made seven changes from their last outing against Galway but the fluent play that has been the hallmark of their season was evident throughout.

The game was only five minutes old when a long, probing ball from Colm Cavanagh found Stephen O’Neill who punched past keeper David Gallagher.

Kyle Coney then converted the first of his four frees before Meath enjoyed their best spell with Cian Ward landing three points in a row including a fine effort from play and a well struck ‘45’.

But Aidan Cassidy, Sean Cavanagh and O’Neill (2) all fired over quality scores to leave Tyrone in a strong position.

Leading by six at the break, that advantage quickly became 10 as Tyrone powered towards the finishing line, their path eased when Meath had full back Kevin Reilly sent off for a second yellow card in the 51st minute.

Tyrone: J Devine, A McCrory, Justin McMahon, C Gormley, C McCarron (0-1), P Harte (0-2), R McMenamin, A Cassidy (0-1), C Cavanagh, R McNabb, Mark Donnelly, S Cavanagh (0-2), K Coney (0-4), N McKenna, S O’Neill (1-2). Subs: O Mulligan for O’Neill, J Lafferty for Coney, C Gervin for Donnelly, S McNally for McNabb.

Meath: D Gallagher, M Burke, K Reilly, C King, S McAnarney, B Menton, D Tobin, T Walsh, M Ward, S Kenny, S Bray (0-1), G Reilly (0-1), P Gilsenan, J Queeney, C Ward (0-3). Subs: B Meade for Walsh, C Lenihan for Kenny, B Farrell for Queeney, C Gillespie for M Ward, D Carroll for Reilly.

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).

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