Now that the remaining second round qualifying games are out of the way, the eight winners have little time to bask in the moment or reflect on the glory as their minds turn towards Monday morning’s draw. Tyrone’s trip to Hyde Park was a potential banana skin but they put together a very solid second half and saw off the challenge of a spirited Roscommon side on a score line of 1-16 to 0-08.
In tight knock out games goals can often prove to be worth much more than just the three points they add to the team’s score. In terms of timing and execution a “major” has the potential to lift one team to great heights while deflating the opposition completely. Roscommon reached the break on Saturday fairly happy with their first half performance as they forced the pace of the game for long periods and although three points behind were well in the game when the half time whistle sounded. With home advantage and a strong breeze in their favour they would have fancied their chances of taking another illustrious Ulster scalp. Tyrone had looked nervous and edgy in the opening half and Roscommon would have been confident they could have capitalised on the northern team’s apparent lack of confidence and fluidity.
However Peter Harte’s converted penalty coming as it did on the back of a blistering start to the second half by Tyrone put the home side immediately on the back foot. The Red Hands built on their good start and added another three points inside the next six minutes to effectively put the game beyond Roscommon.
By the time Tyrone made their first change of the second half they led by seven and pushed on to win comfortably in the end. However the early goal was key to the win and that came about as a result of an increased level of intensity in Tyrone’s play which permeated their entire second half performance. The half time break allowed Mickey Harte’s side to address the first half deficiencies and the team upped their display considerably in the second period. The work rate was higher, support play better and passes crisper and more accurate. Tyrone overall looked more like themselves after the break and ran out comfortable winners by eleven points.
The win will give the team and the management a huge boost in confidence as they await Monday’s draw for the next qualifying round. With teams like Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, Laois and Kildare all in the hat the possibility of a long run on for an away game on Saturday looms large. Hopefully Tyrone will get the advantage of a home draw and should it work out that way, they really should not fear any of the sides they might possibly face. Teamtalkmag.com will bring the draw live as it happens from 8:30 am.