Connor McAliskey hit half a dozen points as Tyrone crashed out of the Ulster championship at the first hurdle against Monaghan and the Clonoe clubman has continued that rich vein of form during the qualifiers.
He weighed in with 1-6 at Portlaoise on Saturday evening as Tyrone easily swept aside the challenge of Cork to take his championship haul to 2-26 in 2018. It was a case of mission accomplished for Tyrone as they will now take their place in the inaugural super 8s and “Skeet” is looking forward to the challenges that will bring.
“Reaching the super 8s was our target from the start of the year and obviously we wanted to go through the Provincials and get our third Ulster in a row,” he said.
“It didn’t happen the way that we had planned with the disappointment of losing to Monaghan in the first round but we knew that we were going to have to go on the road and take every game as it came and if we did that we would reach the super 8s and thank God we achieved that.
It’s a new format for the concluding stages of the championship and as it is the first year of it we wanted to be involved in it and we now have another three high profile games to look forward to.”
At O’Moore Park the Red Hands demonstrated a ruthless streak as they took the Munster runners up apart as they strolled to a thumping sixteen point victory.
“In the last few games we had been in control only to let teams back into it,” he admitted.
“It is something that we have talked about and we said that if we got on top today then we would keep our foot on the pedal and try and finish the game off. We went in at halftime 0-10 to 0-5 in front and the big talk was to get the first score of the second half and we managed to do that and we just pushed on from there and opened up a big gap and were able to pull away from them.”
It sets Tyrone up for a Croke Park date with Roscommon this Saturday and Connor knows that they will be in for a tough test against the Connaught men.
“I saw a bit of the first game and Roscommon and Armagh seemed to be a very open game of football and both were moving well,” he said.
“We will recover and get back to training on Tuesday and then focus on Croke Park on Saturday as that is were we want to be. You have three games and its crucial to get a good start in the super 8s as you probably need two wins to get to the semi finals.
We know that Dublin will be coming to Omagh in a couple of weeks but we won’t be taking our eye of the ball and its all about Roscommon. They have got this far on merit and will be tough opponents and we will have to be at our best to beat them.”