As the game enters injury time Tyrone extend their lead further with points from Mc Erlain again and substitute Ryan O’Neill but South Down refuse to give up and it takes a brilliant save from John Devlin in the Tyrone goal to deny Michael Cunningham a goal. However Eoghan Mc Guinness is quickest to pounce and sends the sliothair to the net to leave the score reading Tyrone 2-13 to 1-9. Four minutes into injury time and Aidan Kelly concludes the scoring with a well struck 65 to leave the final score Tyrone 2-14, South Down 1-9. Tyrone will now have a two week break as they make it through to the semi final of the competition and this extra week will allow those with bumps and bruises from today’s game some extra recovery time which should help their cause.
Tyrone were looking vulnerable for a while as South Down pushed hard to reduce the gap further but a settling point from Peter O’Connor gave Tyrone a five point cushion and a minute later O’Connor threaded a pass along the ground to Cathal Mc Erlain who dispatched his shot to the top corner of the net. With time almost up Tyrone now lead 2-11 to 0-9 and seem certain to make it through to the semi finals of the Lory Meagher Cup.
Tyrone substitution as Ryan O’Neill comes on for the injured Conor Gallagher.
It isn’t quite squeaky bum time but with eight minutes left on the clock South Down have reduced the gap to four points following another Liam Morgan point after an excellent solo run by the Mourne man. Tyrone have only scored one point in this half so far and that came in the fifth minute from Rory O’Neill. Tyrone are playing into the breeze and are struggling to make an impact and with the game entering the decisive stage it really is all to play for.
Seventeen minutes into the second half and Tyrone really should be out of sight at this stage. Unfortunately poor shooting has let them down and their wides tally has now reached double figures. Substitute John O’Kane sends over another point for South Down to close the gap to five and the fear is that if they manage to sneak a goal Tyrone could well find themselves hanging on for victory in a game where they should be home and hosed.
Eight minutes into the second half at Healy Park and the gap remains six points with both teams adding a point apiece. Rory O’Neill getting Tyrone’s in the fifth minute of the second period but Liam Morgan knocked over South Down’s seventh point of the game. Tyrone’s halfbacks continue to dominate with both Stephen Donnellly and Sean Paul Begley in outstanding form.
The half time whistle sounds in Omagh and Tyrone find themselves in a good position leading 1-9 to 0-6. However they will be disappointed to have conceded two points late in injury time to Paul O’Neill and Liam Morgan frees. Overall though the opening thirty five plus minutes were mostly positive for the home side with defenders Stephen Donnelly, Martin Grogan and Sean Paul Begley in fine form while Mike O’Gorman’s two points from the half back line were further proof of Tyrone’s dominance in that key area.
With the game entering the final five minutes of the half the home side certainly look much fitter and sharper with South Down replacing two of their starting half back line. Paul O’Neill offers the Mourne men some respite with a point from a 65 to land his side’s fourth point of the day.
Almost twenty three minutes into the game and Tyrone still looking the team most likely. Three points between the 17th and 21st minute from Aidan Kelly , Cathal Mc Erlain and Kelly again from a 65 were followed by a fine second point of the day from Mike O’Gorman to put Tyrone in a commanding position leading 1-9 to 0-3. Mind you it took a fine save from keeper John Devlin to deny South Down’s Michael Cunningham a goal on twenty minutes.
Fourteen minutes in and it is further good news for Tyrone as Conor Grugan hammers a penalty to the net following a foul on Peter O’Connor. This leaves the scoreline reading Tyrone 1-5 South Down 0-3. The other Tyrone scores coming from wing half back Mike O’Gorman followed by the point of the day from Peter O’Connor.
Five minutes gone and Tyrone lead three points to one with three fine long range scores from Aidan Kelly, Conor Grugan and Cathal Mc Erlain. A fairly decent start from the Red Hand lads.
Tyrone take on Down again this afternoon in The Lory Meagher Cup at Healy Park. Follow the game live on Teamtalkmag.com as we bring you updates as the action unfolds.