Tyrone too strong for Down
Published Saturday, 24 May 2014
Tyrone have produced a dominant display to earn a comfortable 3-11 to 0-12 win over Down in Saturday's Ulster Championship preliminary round replay at Pairc Esler.
The replay was played out at Pairc Esler. (© Presseye)
The two sides met for the second time in a week after last Sunday's absorbing provincial opener at Healy Park, and the game could hardly have started in a more dramatic fashion when the Mournemen were awarded a penalty inside the first minute of the game.
However Aidan Carr blasted his effort straight down the middle and Red Hand goalkeeper Niall Morgan held his nerve to block and then gather the ball.
Tyrone made the most of their early reprieve and soon set about dismantling their opponents in typically ruthless fashion.
In spite of Conor Laverty landing the game's opening score, Tyrone dominated proceedings - Ronan O'Neill, Niall Morgan, Peter Harte and Darren McCurry landing unanswered scores to send their team into an early three-point lead.
Down fought back with frees from Donal O'Hare either side of another McCurry point, but Tyrone moved further in front when the superb Sean Cavanagh put in Ciaran McGinley to fire past Brendan McVeigh for the game's opening goal.
Morgan sent over another free from distance to extend the lead to six, but the Mournemen reeled off four unanswered scores to end the first half just two points in arrears.
However any thoughts of a repeat of the fightback in Healy Park six days previously were ended within a minute of the restart.
Substitute Stephen O'Neill played in McGinley to claim his second goal of the evening with an angled drive past Brendan McVeigh, and followed that up with a point straight from the kick-out.
That early scoring flurry seemed to take the wind out of Down's sails, with Morgan adding another point from distance to stretch Tyrone's lead to seven points.
Down talisman Benny Coulter entered the fray soon after and scored a point with his first touch, and another O'Hare score further reduced the deficit before Tyrone were awarded a penalty for a foul on Ronan McNabb.
Peter Harte effectively killed the game as a contest when he converted from the spot to put Tyrone eight points.
Down never looked likely to muster a comeback while Tyrone looked hungry for more, but in truth the game petered out somewhat following the penalty.
In the end, Mickey Harte's side were full value for the victory which sends them through to a quarter-final meeting with defending provincial champions Monaghan at Clones on 15 June.
© UTV News