Ruthless Tyrone cane Cavan
Tyrone 1-17 - Cavan 0-15
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was at the media's service almost straight after this polished win over Cavan in the Allianz League Division Two final in Croke Park. With bigger game to hunt this summer, there would be no lingering on the pitch afterwards.
Pleased to win, Mickey?
"It's better than a few years ago when we were watching Kildare up there lifting it from below. I'd rather have somebody up there looking down and lifting it than be there looking up so we managed to do that," he responded.
When it was suggested that the half time score of Tyrone 0-11 Cavan 0-8 might be more likely a full-time score in Championship football, he baulked: "I have no reason to suspect that would be the case at all.
"On fast, open ground like we have now with the winter weather gone … it is summer time and we're playing at Croke Park so the game is played at a different pace and there is more likelihood of scores happening."
While the Red Hands were the more cohesive side here, it wasn't until a beautifully worked goal on 49 minutes - Connor McAliskey laying off a ball to Mattie Donnelly, producing a kick pass that opened up the middle channel to Ronan O'Neill who thumped home - that they could breathe a little more easily.
Cavan threatened a revival with the next three points, applying pressure to a growing return on Michael O'Neill's kickouts with an inspirational point from Gearoid McKiernan, Conor Moynagh and a bullet from David Givney that shaved the crossbar on the way over.
However, Tyrone recovered their composure with a fisted point from Ronan O'Neill, one from Donnelly and an audacious volleyed effort from McAliskey that left them in control to close things out.
Cavan manager Terry Hyland took the David O'Leary approach in emphasising the youth of his squad, stating that Tyrone are more experienced at turning defence into attack.
"From a positive point of view we had a lot of young players out there, their first time at Croke Park and I thought some of them acquitted themselves well," he said.
Harte's hunger for trophies cannot be underestimated.
In 14 seasons, he has presided over 249 games, winning 169 of them, collecting 18 senior trophies in the process.
However, to the Red Hands, there is nothing but Derry on May 22.
This game was still far off Championship pace, helped to no end by a firm pitch.
Harte explained: "I guess the Championship… and as we always say particularly in Ulster anybody can beat anybody else on any given day so we will need to be up quite a few percentages when we go to Celtic Park."
TYRONE: M O'Neill; R McNamee, Justin McNulty, C McCarron; R Brennan 0-1, A McCrory, T McCann 0-1; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly 0-2; N Sludden, M Bradley 0-1, 1f, P Harte 0-1; C McAliskey 0-5, S Cavanagh 0-3, R O'Neill 1-3, 1f. Subs: C Meyler for Sludden, B Tierney for McMahon (50m), R Donnelly for Bradley (56m), L Brennan for O'Neill (57m), K McGeary for McAliskey (61m), F Burns for McCarron (70m). Yellow cards: M Donnelly, (46, 67), McCarron (67). Black cards: 0
Red cards: M Donnelly (67m)
CAVAN: R Galligan 0-1, 1f; P Faulkner, K Clarke, J McLoughlin 0-1; C Brady, C Moynagh 0-1, K Brady; T Corr 0-1, L Buchanan 0-1; D McVeety 0-2, G McKiernan 0-3, 1f, M Reilly 0-1; D Givney 0-1, M Argue 0-1, S Johnston 0-1, 1f. Subs: N Murray for K Brady (25m), E Keating 0-1 for Johnston (46m), R Dunne for Argue (53m), F Flanagan for C Brady (60m), J Brady for Moynagh (66m). Yellow cards: Corr (53), Givney (55), McVeety (66) Black cards: Buchanan, replaced by C Mackey (47). Red cards: 0
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)