By Niall Gartland
IT’S one thing being well-beaten down in Killarney, but a nine-point tanking at the hands of Mayo in your own home patch definitely wouldn’t have been in Mickey Harte’s script.
Tyrone could have no cause for complaint as they were totally out-played and out-muscled by the westerners as they slumped to their second successive league defeat.
That means next Sunday’s trip to Dr. Hyde Park to play Roscommon is already of pivotal significance in the race for survival – and let’s not frighten the wits out of each other but the Rossies managed to beat Monaghan today as well..
To place things in sobering context, it was Tyrone’s heaviest league defeat since they were torn asunder by Kerry in fortress Killarney in 2014, and they now sit bottom of the table on scoring difference to Cavan after two rounds of play.
James Horan, who steered Mayo to All-Ireland final appearances in 2012 and 2013, has decided he might as well give things another shot after spending the last few years chilling out in Sky Sports studios with the likes of Jim McGuinness and Peter Canavan.
Two of their leading generals of the past decade, namely Keith Higgins and 2017 Footballer of the Year, Andy Moran, performed heroically in their 2-13 to 0-10 victory against a listless Tyrone, while Man of the Match Fionn McDonagh scored 1-3 in his first ever league start for the county.
They made the considerable trek to Healy Park expecting a backlash from Tyrone after last week’s disappointing performance against Kerry, but the Red Hands were a distinct second best in every sector.
Pick up tomorrow’s Tyrone Herald for a full match report and reaction from today’s match