Last night’s game in Longford provided a well deserved win for a hard working Tyrone team with many fine performances throughout. Young Peter Harte produced a real master class of point taking to finish with seven points to his name and will probably consider himself unlucky not to have added to that tally. His man of the match display was a joy to watch but this was no one man show as Aidan Cassidy, Colm and Sean Cavanagh, Mark Donnelly and Philip Jordan were all outstanding for Mickey Harte’s side. However it was the Errigal man whose display caught the attention of most spectators and journalists with six exquisite strikes from play and a relatively straight forward free late in the game to round off his “magnificent seven”.
This victory was built on hard work and graft and no-one worked harder to secure the win than Peter Harte. His willingness to put in the hard yards and take the knocks into the bargain resulted in timely tackles, turnovers and chances created for his colleagues. It was the perfect response from the flame haired attacker as he put the disappointment of the Donegal defeat well and truly behind him. He lined out at centre half forward for the second half as Brian Mc Guigan was withdrawn at the break but Harte’s display was such that we did not really miss the influence of the Ardboe genius. With Brian Dooher providing moral support and practical assistance when required Harte and Tyrone produced an excellent second half display on a pitch where many teams have struggled in recent years.
The team that lined out showed five changes from the one that lost against Donegal and in spite of the absence of several key individuals the changes seemed to benefit the team. There was more pace, movement and passion and a better balance to the team and while it was a very convincing win there would still be one or two concerns. Our full back line struggled to cope with the pace and ball winning ability of Magee, Kavanagh and Mc Cormick and we did not offer enough cover to these players at vital times. We conceded far too many scores against a division four team but that is perhaps doing a disservice to what was a very well organised and committed Longford side. Nevertheless we got the win we needed and we are in the hat for the next round. What that will bring will be interesting to see but a home tie would be nice for a change.