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Revenge mission drove Tyrone to Nickey Rackard Cup glory over Roscommon, says manager Michael McShane

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Champions: Young Tyrone fans celebrate as captain Conor Grogan lifts the Nickey Rackard Cup at Croke Park. Credit: INPHO/Tom Maher

Champions: Young Tyrone fans celebrate as captain Conor Grogan lifts the Nickey Rackard Cup at Croke Park. Credit: INPHO/Tom Maher

©INPHO/Tom Maher

Michael McShane and Conor McElhatton. Credit: INPHO/Tom Maher

Michael McShane and Conor McElhatton. Credit: INPHO/Tom Maher

©INPHO/Tom Maher

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Champions: Young Tyrone fans celebrate as captain Conor Grogan lifts the Nickey Rackard Cup at Croke Park. Credit: INPHO/Tom Maher

Tyrone manager Michael McShane said the hurt of losing to Roscommon a fortnight ago lit the spark for their Nickey Rackard Cup success at Croke Park.

The Red Hands collected the trophy for the second time in their history when they produced an accomplished display to defeat the pre-match favourites Roscommon in style on Saturday afternoon.

It was the third meeting between the two sides this season and after a draw the Connacht men dished out a heavy defeat to Tyrine only a fortnight ago.

Manager McShane was naturally delighted at the final whistle and pointed to that drubbing that they got against the same opponents recently doing them no harm in the Final.

“We lost to Roscommon two weeks ago by12 points at Dr Hyde Park and it was a sore one to take,” said McShane.

“But in the long run it was the best thing that ever happened us as we learned so much from it about ourselves and Roscommon.

“For the last two weeks every man in the panel and every one of the management team has put their shoulder to the wheel to correct it and thank God we got over the line.

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“We targeted a fast start because we had a slow start last year and the game was over after 15 minutes.

“I didn’t think that the game was won at half-time and they started the second-half well and pulled a few points back. Our lads don’t do panic though, and that is one of the big things that we changed in them and they stuck to the process and they got their reward.

“I’m immensely proud of what we have achieved.

“When you come to Croke Park you want to go away as winners and we didn’t manage to do that last year.

“I’m just so proud of the players not just because we won but the manner in which we won, the style of hurling we played and the victory we got, I’m just over the moon.”

It was a game that Tyrone led from start to finish with leading marksman Damian Casey in superb form finishing with 0-14 to his name, a tally matched by Roscommon sharpshooter Daniel Glynn.

Casey fired over a couple of early scores for the winners with Glynn responding for Roscommon.

Tyrone though were playing at a great tempo and Casey, CJ McGourty, Bryan McGurk and Ruairi Slane added to Tyrone’s advantage.

In the 23rd minute Sean Og Grogan struck for the only goal of the contest and at that stage the Red Hands were really in the driving seat.

Roscommon were in trouble but they closed out the first half with crucial scores from Glynn and Mickey Joe Egan although Tyrone still led 1-14 to 0-9.

Roscommon picked up where they had left off on the restart with Glynn hitting another brace with Oisin Kelly also on target to leave it very much game on.

Tyrone though didn’t panic and that man Casey converted two sweetly struck “45s” to settle any nerves that may have arose.

It was a brilliant day for Tyrone hurling with Chris Kearns and Ruairi Slane also featuring on the scoresheet in a fine all-round team display.

Tyrone: C McElhatton; O McKee, R Devlin, D Rafferty; C Kearns (0-2), D Begley, R Slane (0-1); B McGurk (0-1), T Morgan; A Kelly, C Grogan, CJ McGourty (0-4); L Devlin (0-1), D Casey (0-14, 9f, 2 ’65), S Og Grogan (1-3). Subs: R Weir for McGourty, A Crossan for Morgan, C McNally for Slane, J Devlin for McElhatton, C Lagan (0-1) for S Grogan

Roscommon: E Lawless; M Ward, P Kellehan, H Rooney; C Coyle, P Kelly, C Cosgrove; MJ Egan (0-1), B McGahon; D Glynn (0-14, 8f, 1 ’65), C Dolan (0-2), E Mulry; C Kennelly, E Fitzgerald, B Mulry (0-1). Subs: J Martin for Rooney, O Kelly (0-1) for E Mulry, E Kiernan for McGahon, N Connaughton for Fitzgerald, A Donnelly for B Mulry

Referee: C McDonald (Antrim)


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