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Tyrone Lose Out

Sunday 02.09.2018
Team Talk Mag
All Ireland Series


Tyrone 1-14 Dublin 2-17

Tyrone’s hopes of a fourth All Ireland senior football title ended at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon when a superb Dublin side deservedly annexed the Sam Maguire Cup for a fourth year in a row.

The holders were full value for their victory after they recovered from a slow start on a day when Tyrone kicked an alarming sixteen wides to their opponents six. Tyrone made a superb start to the contest as with a quarter of an hour played they held a 0-5 to 0-1 advantage. They should have been further in front as they hit a number of wides as they took the wrong shot selection time and time again but then Dublin took over as they outscored the Red Hands 2-6 to 0-1 in the remainder of the half.

Seven points adrift at the break it was always going to be an uphill battle for the Red Hands and while they managed to outscore their opponents in the second period the damage had been done. So a promising championship campaign finished on a disappointing note but Tyrone have plenty to build on going forward while the question remains just who is going to stop this Dublin machine as they bid to become the first County in the history of the GAA to do five in a row.

Dean Rock opened the scoring in the third minute from a free but a fire up Tyrone side then took over. A Peter Harte free levelled matters before fine efforts from Killyclogher duo Mark Bradley and Tiernan McCann left them 0-3 to 0-1 in front by the 9th minute. Tyrone though missed chances although at the other end of the field the normally reliable Rock was off target twice from placed balls. Connor McAliskey knocked over a free and sixty seconds later he kicked an outstanding point from play with the outside of his boot for a 0-5 to 0-1 lead.

Things were looking promising at that early stage of the contest but then it all began to go wrong. Rock pointed from play before a poor kick out from keeper Niall Morgan went straight to Ciaran Kilkenny who transferred it to Con O’Callaghan who in turn found Paul Mannion and he was fouled by McCann for a penalty. Mannion took the spot kick himself and he smashed it into the roof of the net to cancel out Tyrone’s good start. Two attacks in a row yielded points from play from Rock before Cathal McShane got Tyrone’s last point of the half in the 24th minute.

The lively Jack McCaffrey bombed forward for a point and in the 28th minute O’Callaghan picked out Niall Scully for a palmed goal. A patient build up then resulted in another Rock point and when the same player converted a free Dublin led 2-7 to 0-6 at halftime and Tyrone were in trouble.

McAliskey pointed within thirty seconds of the restart and when that was followed by a Kieran McGeary point there were hopes of a comeback. Dublin though were always able to respond as Brian Fenton, Scully and Kilkenny all weighed in with points from play, Tyrone substitute Lee Brennan with his side’s sole response from a free. Bradley and Mannion exchanged points as did midfielders McShane and Fenton to leave it 2-12 to 0-11 going into the final quarter.

Rock converted a “45” as well as a free with Brennan responding from a placed ball sandwiched in between as Dublin kept the challengers at arm’s length. With three minutes of normal time left to play Peter Harte converted a penalty after Colm Cavanagh had been fouled and when the fourth official indicated that there was at least seven minutes of injury time to be played there was still a glimmer of hope. Dublin lost John Small to a second yellow card and from the resulting free Brennan left four between the sides. Dublin though refused to panic as they hit three of the last four points through Kevin McManamon, Kilkenny and Michael Daragh Macauley to seal victory, a spectacular long range point from Tyrone’s best player Paudie Hampsey their last score of the game.

Tyrone: Niall Morgan, Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Padraig Hampsey, Tiernan McCann, Rory Brennan, Peter Harte, Colm Cavanagh, Cathal McShane, Mattie Donnelly, Niall Sludden, Kieran McGeary, Mark Bradley, Conor Meyler, Connor McAliskey. Subs: Lee Brennan for Meyler, Frank Burns for Sludden, Richard Donnelly for McAliskey, Harry Loughran for McGeary (black card), Declan McClure for McShane, Ronan O’Neill for Bradley

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton, Philip McMahon, Cian O’Sullivan, Eoin Murchan, John Small, Jonny Cooper, Jack McCaffrey, Brian Fenton, James McCarthy, Niall Scully, Con O’Callaghan, Brian Howard, Paul Mannion, Subs: Michael Fitzsimons for O’Sullivan, Cormac Costello for Scully, Kevin McManamon for Mannion, Daren Daly for Kilkenny, Eric Lowndes for Cooper, Michael Darragh Macauley for Rock

Tyrone scorers: Peter Harte 1-1, Connor McAliskey 0-3, Lee Brennan 0-3, Cathal McShane 0-2, Mark Bradley 0-2, Padraig Hampsey 0-1, Tiernan McCann 0-1, Kieran McGeary 0-1

Dublin scorers: Dean Rock 0-7, Paul Mannion 1-1, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-3, Niall Scully 1-0, Brian Fenton 0-2, Jack McCaffrey 0-1, Brian Howard 0-1, Michael Darragh Macauley 0-1, Kevin McManamon 0-1

Referee: Conor Lane, Cork

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