Allianz Football League Division 1
TYRONE 0-19 CAVAN 0-9
By Orla Bannon at Healy Park
It was all about the second half for Tyrone, who overturned a four-point half-time deficit to claim the win which moved them to the top of Division One in the Allianz Football League.
A fisted goal by Gearoid McKiernan just before the interval put Cavan into a strong position leading 1-8 to 0-7 at the break.
Tyrone, in front of 5,275 in Healy Park, prospered with the wind advantage in the second half and outscored the visitors by 12 points to one in a devastatingly one-sided spell.
The introduction of Mark Bradley was crucial. He scored three points, the first within seconds of coming on in the 47th minute to bring Tyrone to within a point.
Darren McCurry’s point brought them level and there was only one winner once Bradley’s second point put them in front, 0-13 to 1-9 after 49 minutes.
Tyrone scored the last 10 unanswered points, picking off scores with ease to wreak havoc on Cavan’s scoring difference.
Mattie McGleenan’s side are deep in relegation trouble now, with just one point from four games.
Yet despite missing the injured Seanie Johnston and Padraig Faulkner and the suspended Killian Clarke, the visitors had a great first half.
They set up defensively and hit Tyrone perfectly on the break and it worked to a tee, Martin Reilly profiting from slack marking on three occasions to score three left-footed points from play.
Tyrone led briefly, at 0-3 to 0-2, when Padraig McNulty burst through the middle to score in the 14th minute but apart from that, Cavan had the better of things.
Gearoid McKiernan nailed 1-4 in the first half, including two frees, with Tyrone struggling to break down Cavan’s packed defence.
Yet the Red Hands managed to stay in touch for the opening half hour, with five frees from Sean Cavanagh and Peter Harte as well as a great point from an acute angle by Colm Cavanagh.
Harte’s free brought them level for the sixth time at seven points all, but Cavan finished the half strongly.
McKiernan’s swinging shot while off balance was an inspirational point and he palmed the ball over Niall Morgan’s head for the opening goal after 34 minutes.
It was a familiar theme as another Tyrone attack broke down and Cavan broke quickly, Paul O’Connor’s pass to the excellent McVeety opening space in front of them.
He fisted the ball to Conor Madden who flicked it across to McKieran and he calmly flicked the ball over Morgan’s head as the ‘keeper rushed off his line to put Cavan 1-8 to 0-7 ahead at the break.
Tyrone grew in confidence once the points started to fly over. Mattie Donnelly, playing mostly at full-forward, hit a great score over his shoulder to get them going.
Tyrone subs Bradley and Ronan O’Neill hit 0-5 from play between them in the second half, with Mattie Donnelly and Kieran McGeary also on target as the Red Hands moved ahead of Dublin into the league’s top spot.
Scorers for Tyrone: Peter Harte 0-4 (4f), Sean Cavanagh 0-3 (3f), Mark Bradley 0-3, Ronan O’Neill 0-2 Colm Cavanagh, Padraig McNulty, Mattie Donnelly, Kieran McGeary, Darren McCurry, Tiernan McCann 0-1 each, Niall Morgan 0-1 (f)
Scorers for Cavan: Gearoid McKiernan 1-4 (2f), Martin Reilly 0-3, Dara McVeety, Conor Madden 0-1 each
TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Aidan McCrory, Padraig Hampsey, Cathal McCarron; Tiernan McCann, Justin McMahon, Rory Brennan; Colm Cavanagh, Padraig McNulty; Conor Meyler, Kieran McGeary, Peter Harte; Darren McCurry, Sean Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly. Subs: Ronan McNamee for Brennan (HT), Jonathan Munroe for McNamee (BC, 46), Mark Bradley for McNulty (46), Frank Burns for McMahon (50), Ronan O’Neill for McCurry (BC, 47) Conal McCann for McGeary (67)
CAVAN: Raymond Galligan; Rory Dunne, Killian Brady, Jason McLoughlin; Ciaran Brady, Conor Moynagh, Martin Reilly; Tomas Corr, Gearoid McKiernan; Gerard Smith, Dara McVeety, Niall Clerkin; Niall Murray, Conor Madden, Paul O’Connor. Subs: Cian Mackey for C Brady (HT), Stephen Murray for N Murray, Fergal Reilly for McLoughlin (49), John McCutcheon for Corr (56), Niall McKiernan for O’Connor (64)
REFEREE: David Gough (Meath)