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Tyrone win by five in Under 21 replay!

Wednesday 30.03.2011
Team Talk Mag
Club


The final whistle is blown and after three Wednesday nights of action, totalling three hours and forty minutes plus lots of added time, Tyrone have finally got past the challenge of Down and made it through to the semi-final stage of the Ulster under-21 championship where they will meet Monaghan. It has been a mighty struggle these past few weeks but the three clashes with Down should stand Tyrone in good stead for the challenges ahead and the pleasing thing is that they saved their best football of the season until tonight’s third encounter, the Red Hands going through to the next stage with plenty to spare despite a very slow start at the Athletic Grounds. Well done Tyrone, 1-15 to 1-10 winners….

Down are applying plenty of pressure in these closing mnutes but Tyrone have nearly everybody back in defensive mode and there’s just no way that Down are getting through for two late goals as the impressive Richard Donnelly makes way for Sean Warnock to come into the game…

Another Paul Devlin point narrows the gap again to five points but we are heading into injury time at this stage and Tyrone don’t have too long to hold on here…

Down deserve great credit as they find the target again to leave six points between the teams, 1-15 to 1-9, with 28 minutes gone in this second half. They aren’t ready to throw in the towel but surely they can’t turn this one around!

Down pull one back through Paul Devlin but Tyrone have raised their game to new heights tonight and Down have no answer to this onslaught as John McCullagh comes into the game in place of Ciaran Gervin…

Surely there’s no way back for Down tonight as Peter Harte earns a free kick with a great piece of play and Ronan O’Neill does what he has been doing so well all night, hitting the resultant free kick perfectly between the Down posts to put Tyrone in a virtually unassailable position with six minutes to go, Tyrone leading by 1-15 to 1-7…

Peter Harte, now starring at centre half back, is coming into his own in this game as Tyrone continue to turn on the style at the Athletic Grounds, Niall McKenna applying a cool finishing touch with a fisted point following great approach work by Harte and Mattie Donnelly…

After trailing by six points in the first half, Tyrone are now ahead by six points with eight minutes remaining, thanks to a fabulous kick from the sideline from Paddy McNeice, his third score of the night. Aside from that opening quarter, Tyrone have produced some memorable football tonight…

Tyrone are edging closer to an Ulster semi-final meeting with Monaghan as Paddy McNeice points another free kick to give the Red Hands a very useful 1-12 to 1-7 advantage as we enter the last ten minutes of this game…

This game is now Tyrone’s to lose as Down ring the changes to try and get back into contention here. Since Down took a 1-5 to 0-2 lead in the first half, Tyrone have been very impressive in hitting 1-9, bringing about a massive ten point turnaround to the scoreboard since those opening stages…

Tyrone’s situation is looking better all the time as the Red Hands swoop into a three point lead from a free kick, before Mattie Donnelly delivers one of the best scores of the night with a fantastic strike from long distance to increase the advantage to four points, 1-11 to 1-7, midway through this second half…

Raymond Munroe’s side are now going very well as Ronan O’Neill increases his personal tally for the night to 1-4 with another assured conversion, making it three Tyrone points in succession. It’s the best position that Tyrone have found themselves in all night with 12 minutes gone in this second period, but as we all know by now anything can happen in these next 18 minutes…

Tyrone produce arguably their best passage of play all night as Peter Harte illustrates his quality by drilling over a tremendous left footed score to round off an impressive build up involving a lot of players, Tyrone going back in front by the minimum margin, 1-8 to 1-7…

But Kyle Coney’s class is there for all to see once more as the Ardboe star lobs over a wonderful point to bring Tyrone level on 1-7 each in the early stages of this second half. Tiernan McCann, Finbarr McQuaid and Shea McGuigan have also been catching the eye since the interval…

It’s Down who launch the second half scoring as Ben OReilly edges them into a 1-7 to 1-6 lead from a free kick…

Tyrone have Ronan O’Neill to thank for a superb turnaround in that first half, the Omagh teenager contributing a total of 1-3 in the opening 30 minutes, his three points all coming from frees. The rest of the Tyrone scoring so far has come from Kyle Coney, Niall Sludden and Paddy McNeice as Tyrone prepare for another 30 minutes of non stop action against what is proving to be a very formidable Down challenge. Is it possible we could have extra time for the third Wednesday night in a row, as the second half gets underway?

There’s still time for Down to respond before half time as Ryan Brady shoots an injury time point to leave it all square once again at 1-6 apiece. Brady’s score completes an intriguing first half which saw Tyrone start poorly and fall six points behind before suddenly coming to life and turning things around with 1-4 to take the lead, only for Down to tie things up again in the closing seconds. The Tyrone changes have made a big difference to this game and the Red Hands are in a much better position than they were midway through that first half. But it’s still all to play for and remarkably the teams are still inseparable after more than 190 minutes of exchanges…

Incredibly Tyrone are in front as the half time whistle beckons, Paddy McNeice getting his name on the scoresheet from a free kick to give the Red Hands an unlikely lead at this stage of the proceedings. That’s 1-4 now from Tyrone without reply, and it’s 1-6 to 1-5 on the scoreboard…

TYRONE ARE LEVEL as the first half draws towards a climax, and once again Ronan O’Neill is heavily  involved as he does the groundwork this time for Niall Sludden to slot over an excellent equaliser, completing an impressive Tyrone fightback in this first half. It’s now 1-5 apiece…

GOAL!!! The Red Hands are right back in this game as Mattie Donnelly wins the ball back to pave the way for Ronan O’Neill to add to his growing tally with a well taken goal, leaving it 1-5 to 1-3. Moments later, O’Neill is on target once again from another free kick and incredibly there’s just a single point separating the teams approaching half time…

Tyrone haven’t got started yet tonight and they make a double substitution to try and stem the tide, with Ciaran Gervin and Tiernan McCann entering the fray in place of Stefan McKenna and Gavin Teague,  just as Ronan O’Neill pops over a much needed score from a free kick to leave five between the teams…

Down are going very well in this first half and Danny Savage widens the gap to six points with yet another fine score from play, giving his side a very healthy 1-5 to 0-2 cushion…

Tyrone have started sluggishly and they suddenly find themelves in a spot of bother as Down sweep into a five point lead with a brilliant finish to the net by Paul Devlin, who has caught the eye so far for the Mournemen. Tyrone have a lot of improving to do in order to retrieve this situation, Down showing a lot of hunger in the opening twenty minutes…

Kyle Coney makes up for his earlier missed chance when he swings over a great point, Tyrone’s first from play, following a great delivery into the attack by centre half back Gavin Teague, Tyrone now trailing by 0-4 to 0-2 at the beginnning of the second quarter…

Down are on target from play once again as McArdle polishes off another Down counter attack with a good strike after Kyle Coney had dropped the ball short into the keeper’s arms at the opposite end…

It’s Down who have started the much brighter side tonight and following a Tyrone move which ends with Mattie Donnelly feeding Ronan O’Neill for a shot which drops short into the keeper’s arms, Down break up the field impressively and Paul Devlin knocks over his side’s third point from play, leaving it 0-3 to 0-1…

Down full back Boyle restores his side’s lead by starting and finishing a fine move, giving Down a 0-2 to 0-1 cushion after 12 minutes…

Kyle Coney, scorer of five superb points at Healy Park last week, wins a free kick and Ronan O’Neill finally opens Tyrone’s account in good style, making it 0-1 apiece after ten minutes of play…

Tyrone are still awaiting their first score after the opening nine minutes and have been kept busy in defence so far with Down pushing hard to add to their opening strike from McAnulty. It’s a low key start for the Red Hands…

Down open the scoring in this third instalment of Tyrone v Down in the under-21 championship with Gerard McAnulty pointing in the very first minute to give the Mournemen an early advantage…

Ardboe pair Gavin Teague and Shea McGuigan are included in the Tyrone team for the first time in this year’s under-21 championship, while Stefan McKenna is named in the starting line up for the first time following a couple of substitute appearances against Down in the last two weeks. Tyrone’s hopes tonight will depend a lot on the performance of their talented full forward line of Coney, Donnelly and O’Neill who have all shone at different stages of the encounters with Down so far, all three hitting some fantastic scores. Can this first round tie finally produce a winner at the third attempt at the Athletic Grounds, after more than 160 minutes of end to end football at Pairc Esler and Healy Park? Monaghan await the winners at the provincial semi-final stage, with Cavan already through to the Ulster final from the other half of the draw…

Tyrone line out as follows for tonight’s game; Niall Morgan, Ryan Pickering, Ronan Mc Namee, Finbar Mc Quaid, Niall Sludden, Gavin Teague, Stefan Mc Kenna, Niall Mc Kenna, Richard Donnelly, Paddy Mc Neice, Peter Harte, Shea Mc Guigan, Kyle Coney, Matthew Donnelly, Ronan O’Neill.

Ronan Mc Nabb is listed at 17 but will not tog out and Tiernan Mc Cann is listed at 25.

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