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Photos with thanks to Damien Mc Anespie – firstname.lastname@example.org
ALL-IRELAND SFC ROUND 4B: TYRONE 0-21 SLIGO 0-14
By Paul Keane at Croke Park
Darren McCurry blasted eight points as Tyrone staged a successful navigation of all four rounds of the All-Ireland qualifier series for the second time in three seasons.
Mickey Harte’s ambitious Red Hands were rarely troubled in this Round 4B tie and advanced comfortably to an All-Ireland quarter-final against Monaghan or Mayo on August 8.
They will enter the business end of the campaign in optimistic mood and have a key attacker in McCurry while Sean Cavanagh was handed the Man of the Match award at Croke Park.
Tyrone looked in real trouble when they bowed out of the Ulster championship early on to Donegal but they have bounced back superbly with wins over Limerick, Meath, Tipperary and now the Connacht finalists.
But the summer is over for Sligo who followed up their heavy provincial final loss to Mayo with another chastening defeat.
The sides were level at a point apiece initially but Tyrone soon strode clear, opening up a 0-4 to 0-2 advantage after 10 minutes and laying down a marker for the remainder of the game.
McCurry hit two of those scores and took his tally to 0-5 by half-time. The free-taker hit back to back points from open play late in the half to pile the pressure on Sligo. Cavanagh helped himself to 0-2 though also had a goal chance blocked out for a 45.
Both sides defended in numbers though Tyrone found it much easier to penetrate Sligo’s rear guard. Even corner-back Rory Brennan was able to power up the field and boom over a score. Mark Bradley and Mattie Donnelly made the score sheet too.
At the other end, Sligo were often reduced to pot shots from distance. Some went over, like Cian Breheny’s effort that was given a favourable Hawk-Eye ruling. His uncle, centre-forward Mark, hit a fine long range point too.
But the Yeats men struggled for their points while Tyrone looked a threat whenever they moved forward. They were full value for their 0-12 to 0-6 half-time advantage and were only really missing a goal to put serious daylight between the sides.
Sligo hinted at a revival in the third quarter and got the margin down to four points with scores from Adrian Marren and Mark Breheny.
But five Tyrone points on the bounce approaching the hour mark finally killed off this contest. The Cavanagh brothers, Sean and Colm, scored one each while McCurry and Peter Harte were also on the mark.
Scorers for Tyrone: D McCurry 0-8 (4f, 1 ’45’), S Cavanagh 0-3, M Donnelly 0-3, M Bradley 0-2, C McAliskey 0-1, R Brennan 0-1, N Morgan 0-1 (1f), C Cavanagh 0-1, P Harte 0-1
Scorers for Sligo: M Breheny 0-6 (3f), P Hughes 0-3, A Marren 0-2 (2f), D Kelly 0-1, C Breheny 0-1, N Murphy 0-1
TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Aidan McCrory, Ronan McNamee, Ronan McNabb; Peter Harte, Joe McMahon, Rory Brennan; Colm Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly; Conor Meyler, Tiernan McCann, Sean Cavanagh; Connor McAliskey, Darren McCurry, Mark Bradley. Subs: Conall McCann for Meyler (49), Padraig McNulty for Bradley (58), Justin McMahon for Joe McMahon (60), Danny McBride for Colm Cavanagh (62), Ronan O’Neill for McAliskey (62), Conor Clarke for Donnelly (69).
SLIGO: Aidan Devaney; Daniel Maye, Keelan Cawley, Ross Donavan; Brendan Egan, Eoin Flanagan, Brian Curran; Cian Breheny, Stephen Gilmartin; Neil Ewing, Mark Breheny, Niall Murphy; David Kelly, Pat Hughes, Adrian Marren. Subs: Kevin McDonnell for C Breheny (34), James Hynes for Gilmartin (56), Criostoir Davey for Ewing (58), Luke Bree for Maye (64), Kenneth Sweeney for Hughes (69).
Referee: R Hickey (Clare)
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