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Tyrone ease to victory in Sligo with improved display

Sunday 27.02.2011
Team Talk Mag

Tyrone finally opened their Allianz national football league account for 2011 when they produced a greatly improved performance to beat Sligo convincingly on a scoreline of 2-15 to 0-15 at Markievicz Park on Sunday.

Following defeats at the hands of Derry and Donegal there was growing pressure on the Red Hands to get their first victory in division two and they delivered the goods in impressive fashion, with Sean Cavanagh (1-5) and substitute Stephen O’Neill (0-3) leading the way with a combined contribution of 1-8, both players showing their best form for some time to ensure a positive outcome for Mickey Harte’s side. O’Neill, a second half replacement for Owen Mulligan, reminded spectators of his class with a couple of sublime points.

Martin Penrose, one of Tyrone’s best players in 2011 so far, also finished with a notable four point tally, with Niall McKenna, Brian McGuigan, Owen Mulligan and first half goalscorer Enda McGinley completing the scoring for the visitors on a day which could act as a significant turning point in Tyrone’s season.

Showing four changes to their original selection – with Damian McCaul, PJ Quinn, Colm Cavanagh and Owen Mulligan all starting in place of Cathal McCarron, Dermot Carlin, Niall McKenna and Stephen O’Neill – Tyrone had established a 1-6 to 0-5 by half time. However, they had also suffered a couple of setbacks in that first half with Conor Gormley receiving his marching orders for two yellow cards and Enda McGinley going off with a nasty ankle injury, which later required hospital treatment.

Before leaving the action, McGinley had given his side a good cushion by thumping the ball to the Sligo net in the 10th minute after the home keeper had dropped a Brian McGuigan effort, the opening goal arriving after Owen Mulligan and Martin Penrose had exchanged early points with Mark Breheny and Adrian Marren.

Unlike the previous match when they had surrendered an early three point advantage very tamely, Tyrone always looked hot favourites to stay in front against Sligo, despite the 17th minute departures of Gormley and McGinley, the latter being replaced by Niall McKenna.

Marren did manage a couple of Sligo points in the second quarter but Tyrone responded through Cavanagh, Penrose and McKenna as the hosts ended the first half with fourteen men as well after Breheny was dismissed on a second yellow card.

Tyrone continued to stay well in front throughout the second half and were looking more and more comfortable as the half wore on. And they secured a welcome victory long before the end as Stephen O’Neill and Brian McGuigan combined cleverly to pave the way for Sean Cavanagh’s brilliantly taken goal with over ten minutes to go.

Sligo, with Adrian Marren continuing to add to his personal tally, kept going until the end but all they could manage was to get the deficit down from nine points to six before the final whistle as the Ulster champions cruised to victory with their most accomplished display of the league so far.

Mickey Harte will be delighted with the response from his players to the lacklustre showing against Donegal and he will be pleased with the form shown by Damian McCaul, Aidan McCrory, Ryan McMenamin, Kevin Hughes and others, although he will be particularly satisfied with the way in which two of his class acts, O’Neill and Cavanagh, raised their performance levels significantly when it was needed.


Saturday 12th March
Round 4 at Omagh, 7.30pm
Tyrone V Antrim

Saturday 19th March
Round 5 at Portlaoise, 7.30pm
Laois V Tyrone

Sunday 3rd April
Round 6 at Omagh, 2.30pm
Tyrone V Kildare

Sunday 10th April
Round 7 at Navan, 2.30pm
Meath V Tyrone


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