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Tyrone Put Clare To The Sword

Sunday 02.06.2024
Team Talk Mag
Football


All Ireland Senior Championship
Group 3: Tyrone 3-15   Clare 0-10

Tyrone bounced back from an opening loss to Donegal to comfortably defeat Clare in Healy Park. Knowing that only victory would suffice in maintaining Tyrone’s interest in the championship the home side started cautiously against the Munster runners up and conceded the opening point. Ciaran Daly, opened the home side’s account in the second minute. Ikew Ugwere picked up a black card in the 4th minute following a hand trip but Tyrone failed to make the numerical advantage count in a laboured first half. When Ugwere did return the sides remained locked at 2 points each. McMahon was on target minutes later and Clare led for the one and only time.

Tyrone needed a spark, and it came from an unlikely source.  Niall Devlin who had lined out at corner back had already kicked a point when he found himself in the right spot to despatch to the net after a patient Tyrone build up with twenty minutes played. Defenders Ronan Lanigan and Cillian Rouine pointed to tie the game again.

Tyrone’s attack was having difficulty breaking down a stubborn Clare rearguard but some direct running from Niall Morgan proved to be the key. Picking up the ball on the Clare 45, he evaded several challenge before setting up Niall Devlin for his second goal of the afternoon. The Fianna man, still had time to kick a further point, accounting for all but one of Tyrone’s first half scores as they led 2-3 0-5 at the interval.

Experienced Mattie Donnelly and Brian Kennedy both registered early scores after the restart as Tyrone began the second half on the front foot. Clare kept in the contest largely through a brace of McMahon’s frees in a relatively quiet third quarter.

As the game entered its final quarter only five points separated the sides, but Tyrone were building and the introduction of fresh legs had the desired effect. Clare were starting to struggle to deal with the home side’s pace and intensity across the pitch. Tyrone were rewarded by maintaining a higher forward lineas the previously subdued Darragh Canavan exploded into the game, kicking a point, converting a mark and teeing up brother Ruairi as Tyrone opened up clear daylight between the sides.

Shea O’Hare entered the game to make his debut and brought more energy and direction. Mattie Donnelly’s influence continued to grow and the Trillick man fired over four second half points as Tyrone eased clear.

Clare were reduced to 14, with a couple of minutes remaining when midfielder Darragh Bohannon saw red for a dangerous tackle on Michael O’Neill. As the game ticked into added time the crowd were treated to a piece of Darragh Canavan magic, picking the ball up he weaved past a couple of defenders before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the net.

The final group game will see Tyrone face Cork, with Clare facing Donegal, both to be played at neutral venues in a couple of weeks, which will final group standings.

Tyrone: N Morgan, N Devlin (2-2), P Hampsey, M McKernan,A Clarke, M Donnelly (0-4) K McGeary, B Kennedy (0-1), J Oquz, C Daly (0-1), M O’Neill, S O’Donnell, D McCurry, D Canavan (1-4, 2f,1m), R Canavan (0-2)

Subs C Kilpatrick (0-1) for Oguz, P Harte for McCurry, S O’Hare for McGeary, C McShane for O’Donnell, C Quinn for O’Neill

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