Published Sunday, 18 May 2014
Down and Tyrone players in action. (© Presseye)
Down looked to have done enough to win the game with second half goals from Conor Laverty, Aidan Carr and Donal O'Hare helping the Mournemen to a two point lead by the end of normal time.
However Red Hand captain Sean Cavanagh scored two frees in injury time to seal the draw and set up a replay at Pairc Esler.
In truth the first 35 minutes of this season's opening Ulster Championship encounter were uninspiring to say the least.
Niall Morgan had the honour of landing the first score of the campaign when he converted a 45, and Red Hand captain Sean Cavanagh added a point from play before Donal O'Hare replied for the Mournemen in the seventh minute.
Another Tyrone point followed in the 14th minute before the hosts claimed the game's first goal, with Cavanagh proving instrumental.
The Moy man floated a sideline ball over the Down defence and into the hands of Kyle Coney on the edge of the square, only for the former Aussie Rules star to be hauled down by Conor Maginn.
Although the ball ended up in the net the referee awarded the spot kick instead but Peter Harte made no mistake from 13 metres, stepping up to send Brendan McVeigh the wrong way.
Tyrone were well in control, and although Ambrose Rogers briefly stemmed the flow with a point from play, Coney had the final say with a score of his own to send the hosts back to the dressing room with a five point lead.
The second half couldn't have been more different from the first as the game exploded into life with another penalty incident within minutes of the restart.
Morgan was the culprit for Tyrone, hauling down substitute Jerome Johnston and earning himself a black card in the process - the first in Ulster Championship history.
Aidan Carr dispatched the spot kick with aplomb, but Tyrone remained in the ascendency, with two scores from Coney opening out a four point margin.
After both sides had traded further scores Tyrone found the net again when they exploited an attacking overlap which resulted in Darren McCurry smashing the ball home past the helpless McVeigh.
The Mournemen looked out of it at that stage but to their credit they fought back almost immediately with Maginn netting from a tight angle in the 55th minute, and Conor Laverty adding a third just two minutes later.
James McCartan's side now looked in total control, and points from Laverty, Mark Poland and Benny Coulter saw the visitors lead by two at the end of normal time.
Down squandered chances to increase their lead - not least when O'Hare missed a very kickable free - and ultimately they were made to pay for their wastefulness in front of the posts.
Cavanagh hauled his side back into it when he converted a free in the first minute of injury time, and added a second with the last kick of the game to ensure the sides will have to battle it out again for the right to face Monaghan in the quarter finals on 15 June.
© UTV News