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Tyrone defeat Meath to advance in qualifiers

By tyronepro Sat 11th Jul

Tyrone defeat Meath to advance in qualifiers
Tyrone defeat Meath to advance in qualifiers

By Orla Bannon at Healy Park, Omagh
A Peter Harte penalty midway through the second half rescued Tyrone, who progressed to the third round of All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers after a mediocre tussle with Meath in Healy Park.
Tyrone only came to life in the last quarter of a very poor game which was played in wet and difficult conditions.
Meath failed to produce a decent backlash after their Leinster semi-final defeat by Westmeath, when they conceded a 10-point lead.
Meath led 0-4 to 0-3 at half time and the game was there to be won by either team who wanted it in the second half, until Peter Harte expertly converted a 52nd minute penalty after Tiernan McCann was fouled.
McCann and Darren McCurry were brought on at half-time and Mickey Harte’s switches worked, as both made a big impact in the second half along with diminutive forward Mark Bradley.
Both teams started nervously, like they were afraid of losing more than they wanted to win.
Meath goalkeeper Conor McHugh, in his first championship start for the suspended Paddy O’Rourke, saved a fisted effort from Conor McAliskey in the second minute but otherwise it was a very tentative start to the game.
Tyrone chose to play with the wind in the opening half but committed very few men forward and typically, Seán Cavanagh led the line with points from play off either foot in the ninth and 18th minutes.
A depressingly low-scoring game descended into mediocrity with way more wides than points. McAliskey hit four of Tyrone’s seven first-half wides.
Meath lost Kevin Reilly prior to throw-in and then suffered another setback early in the game with Eamon Wallace limping off with what looked like a hip injury after only 13 minutes.
The Royals started the game like they finished their Leinster semi-final against Westmeath – in reverse gear.
Mickey Newman forced a good save out of Niall Morgan, who blocked the shot with his feet, and it seemed to wake Meath up because a minute later, they scored their first point through cornerback Donncha Tobin in the 28th minute.
The visitors went on to score three unanswered points before half-time.
Suddenly, Meath started pushing up on the Tyrone kickouts putting Niall Morgan under pressure, and they reeled off three scores from Graham Reilly and two Mickey Newman frees.
Reilly’s point from far out on the wing was a rare bright moment in a poor game, and Newman stretched Meath’s lead to 0-4 to 0-2 before Mark Bradley’s left-footed free brought the first half to a close.
Meath must have been delighted to hold a 0-4 to 0-3 lead at half time, with the breeze to come.
Mickey Harte brought on Darren McCurry and Tiernan McCann for the start of the second half, but Brian McMahon scored the opening point for Meath.
Despite playing poorly, Tyrone drew level with McAliskey’s free and a Peter Harte point in the 50th minute, but Meath captain Donal Keogan burst forward with an immediate response to put the Royals ahead again.
The turning point came in the 52nd minute when sub Tiernan McCann was fouled for a penalty.
Joe McMahon slipped a pass through to him and the Meath defence parted through the middle, his strong run only stopped by a Keogan foul.
Peter Harte stepped up and drilled the ball high into the corner of the net to put Tyrone ahead, 1-5 to 0-6, for the first time since the closing stages of the first half.
The game finally sparked into life.
Tiernan McCann’s strong running on the ball made a big impact and he scored a point after winning the penalty.
Mark Bradley also had a great second half and kicked two points with Tyrone playing with a lot more purpose in the final quarter.
Meath hung in with points from Graham Reilly and Bryan Menton, and there was still a goal in it when sub Joey
Wallace went for goal, but dragged his shot wide with three minutes remaining.
Kevin Reilly tagged on a booming injury-time point when Meath needed a goal, but Tyrone did just enough to book their place in the next round.
TYRONE: N Morgan; A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron; R McNabb (0-1), Joe McMahon, P Harte (1-1, pen); C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; B Tierney, R Donnelly, R Brennan; M Bradley (0-3, 1f), S Cavanagh (0-2), C McAliskey (0-1, f). Subs: T McCann (0-1) for Tierney (HT), D McCurry (0-1) for R Donnelly (HT), C McCann for Brennan (43), R O’Neill for McAliskey (62), C McShane for Bradley (70)
MEATH: C McHugh; J McEntee, C McGill, D Tobin (0-1); D Keogan (0-1), P Harnan, D Dalton; B Menton (0-1), H Rooney; G Reilly (0-3), S Bray, A Tormey; E Wallace, M Newman (0-2, 2f), B McMahon (0-1). Subs:D Lenihan for Wallace (13), K Reilly (0-2) for Newman (55), S Tobin for Bray (63), J Wallace for McMahon (63), M Burke for McEntee (65), B Power for Dalton (70)
REFEREE: Ciaran Branagan (Down)
Photos thanks to Jim Dunne – Jamesdphoto@aol.comTyrone-v-Meath-1 Tyrone-v-Meath-10 Tyrone-v-Meath-11 Tyrone-v-Meath-12 Tyrone-v-Meath-13 Tyrone-v-Meath-14 Tyrone-v-Meath-2 Tyrone-v-Meath-3 Tyrone-v-Meath-4 Tyrone-v-Meath-5 Tyrone-v-Meath-6 Tyrone-v-Meath-7 Tyrone-v-Meath-8 Tyrone-v-Meath-9

By tyronepro Sat 11th Jul

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