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Meath Push Tyrone All The Way in Qualifiers

Sunday 10.06.2018
Team Talk Mag
County


 

Tyrone were forced to fight all the way before they finally got the better of Meath after extra-time to advance to Round 2 of the All-Ireland football qualifiers.

It took a superb Cathal McShane point in the sixth minute of injury-time to force the extra period. A fine pass from Ronan O’Neill during extra time set up Harry Loughran’s 76th minute goal which proved to be the key score of the game.

Meath manager Andy Mc Entee and his players were left frustrated at the end when they felt they were denied a clear free by referee Paddy Neilan right at the death.

Tyrone’s profligacy almost cost them their place in round two as they hit 14 wides during normal time and created five or six clear goal chances that they failed to convert.

Mickey Harte opted for a change between the sticks with Michael O’Neill replacing Niall Morgan in goals. Tyrone hit the ground running and dominated possession as they played some fine football and created numerous chances. In spite of this however they had only one goal to show for all their territorial dominance.

Conor Mc Aliskey was Tyrone’s main scoring threat in the opening period hitting 1-5 while Paidi Mc Nulty drew a fine save from the Meath keeper and also saw a shot rebound off the bar. Mickey Harte’s team could have been out of sight at the break as they hit eight wides in the opening half and dropped a number of shots into the Meath keeper’s arms.

With Ben Brennan in superb form Meath grew in confidence and sensed an upset was on the cards. The second half was score for score with the sides level six times during a highly intense and exciting second period.

Meath seemed set for a win especially when Tyrone were reduced to fourteen men after losing Tiernan McCann to a straight red card following a clash with Brennan. The Meath attacker put his team in front deep in injury time before he himself got his marching orders when he received a second yellow card with seconds left.

With time almost up Tyrone dug deep. They showed tremendous character and composure to create that last chance which was brilliantly converted by Cathal Mc Shane. That match saving score ensured extra time would be required as the game ended 0-14 to 1-11.

Extra time saw Tyrone on top in the first period and subs Ronan O’Neill and Harry Loughran combined brilliantly to deliver the goal that eventually decided the outcome.

Unfortunately for Tyrone they failed to score again after the goal and Meath hit four points in a row and almost stole the game at the end. Tyrone however managed to hang on and are now in the pot for the round two draw on Monday morning.

 

Tyrone: Michael O’Neill; Hugh Pat McGeary, Ronan McNamee, Padraig Hampsey; Tiernan McCann, Michael McKernan (0-01), Frank Burns (0-02); Colm Cavanagh, Padraig McNulty; Mattie Donnelly, Niall Sludden (0-01), Conor Meyler; Cathal McShane (0-02), Richard Donnelly, Connor McAliskey (1-08, 0-06f).

Subs: Kieran McGeary for Meyler (49), Rory Brennan for HP McGeary (49), Harry Loughran (1-00) for R Donnelly (53), Declan McClure for McNulty (62), Ronan McNabb for McNamee (68). Ronan O’Neill replaces red carded McCann for e/t, Meyler for McKernan (79), Conall McCann for McShane (86).

Meath: Andrew Colgan; Shane Gallagher, Conor McGill, Seamus Lavin; James McEntee (0-02), Sean Curran, Donal Keogan (0-01); Bryan Menton, Adam Flanagan; Mickey Burke (0-01), Ben Brennan (0-06, 0-03f), Cillian O’Sullivan (0-02); Graham Reilly, Donal Lenihan (0-04, 0-04f), Joey Wallace (0-01).

Subs: Thomas O’Reilly (0-01) for Lenihan (55), Eamon Wallace for Burke (56), Bryan McMahon for J Wallace (58). Cian O’Brien replaces red carded Brennan for e/t,  Shane Glynn (0-01) for Gallagher (75), Daniel O’Neill for McGill h/t e/t, Lenihan for Lavin (84).

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