All Ireland SFC QF: Terrific Tyrone triumph
All Ireland SFC Quarter-Final Group 2
TYRONE 4-24 ROSCOMMON 2-12
By Cian O'Connell at Croke Park
Ultimately it ended in a surprisingly emphatic Tyrone victory as Roscommon were provided with a chilling reminder about how demanding matches can occasionally be at GAA headquarters.
Roscommon entered the Jones Road venue loaded with hope following a stirring success over Armagh, but Tyrone’s efficiency in these type of encounters is well documented.
Since the Ulster Championship setback against Monaghan five Championship triumphs have been stitched together by Tyrone, who are gaining belief and momentum.
A first half which started in such encouraging fashion for Roscommon culminated in deep disappointment as Tyrone went in protecting a commanding 1-10 to 0-6 advantage.
Mickey Harte’s team showed plenty of guile and craft to accumulate a seven point advantage with Niall Sludden’s splendid 11th minute goal a key score.
Before that Tyrone major Roscommon had dashed about impressively with the Murtagh brothers prominent as the Connacht outfit edged 0-4 to 0-3 ahead.
But a swift Tyrone attack involving Connor McAliskey and Cathal McShane was concluded by Sludden’s precise shot which made the Rosommon net dance.
Suddenly Roscommon were encountering problems and while they only trailed 1-4 to 0-6 in the 22nd minute Tyrone concluded the opening period strongly.
Six sweet Tyrone points on the spin were registered as McAliskey (free), Conor Meyler, Cathal McShane, Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, and Richie Donnelly all found the range.
It meant a significant turnaround was necessary after the restart and when Peter Harte clipped a free Tyrone moved further in front.
Under duress Roscommon did summon a response as Enda Smith burst through to blast a much needed goal in the 38th minute. Suddenly Roscommon were reducing the deficit and a subsequent Ciarain Murtagh free had the gap down to four.
Tyrone, though, refused to be perturbed crucially notching three of the next four scores to ensure the cushion was 1-14 to 1-8 by the 45th minute.
The issue was sealed four minutes later as Richie Donnelly and Cathal McShane combined enabling Meyler to supply an ice cool finish immediately prior to being substituted.
Five more Tyrone points followed with Roscommon struggling to cope and while Ciarain Murtagh mined a goal it was merely a consolation.
Within seconds Tyrone had planted a third goal when Harte expertly converted a penalty after Enda Smith fouled substitute Hugh Pat McGeary. Richie Donnelly decorated Tyrone’s display with a fourth goal in the dying embers as Harte’s charges collected the spoils with the minimum of fuss.
Roscommon host Donegal on Saturday, while next on the agenda for Tyrone is a Healy Park tussle against Dublin. That should be interesting. Revealing too.
Scorers for Tyrone: Richie Donnelly 1-4, Peter Harte 1-3 (1-0pen, 3fs), Niall Sludden 1-2, Conor Meyler 1-1, Connor McAliskey 0-4 (3fs) Cathal McShane and Mark Bradley 0-2 each, Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Declan McClure, Tiernan McCann, Rory Brennan, and Mattie Donnelly 0-1 each.
Scorers for Roscommon: Ciarain Murtagh 1-3 (3fs), Diarmuid Murtagh 0-5 (3fs), Enda Smith 1-0, Padraig Kelly, Conor Devaney, Fintan Cregg, and Conor Daly 0-1 each.
TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Cathal McCarron; Tiarnan McCann, Mattie Donnelly, Frank Burns; Colm Cavanagh, Padraig Hampsey; Peter Harte, Niall Sludden, Conor Meyler; Cathal McShane, Richard Donnelly, Connor McAliskey.
Subs: Hugh Pat McGeary for McCarron (18), Kieran McGeary for Meyler (50), Declan McClure for Cavanagh (51), Mark Bradley for McAliskey (55), Rory Brennan for McKernan (58), Ronan O’Neill for Sludden (59).
ROSCOMMON: Colm Lavin; David Murray, John McManus, Niall McInerney; Niall Daly, Fintan Cregg, Conor Devaney; Tadhg O'Rourke, Enda Smith; Ciarain Murtagh, Niall Kilroy, Cathal Cregg; Diarmuid Murtagh, Cathal Compton, Donie Smith.
Subs: Brian Stack for C Cregg (36), Finbar Cregg for D Smith (36), Gary Patterson for N Daly (46), Conor Daly for F Cregg (53), Shane Killoran for C Murtagh (62), Padraig Kelly for E Smith (65).
REFEREE: David Gough (Meath).