TYRONE booked their place in the ‘Super Eights’ with an incredibly straightforward 1-20 to 0-7 victory over Cavan at Clones this afternoon.
The Red Hands’ supremacy was total and absolute against the beaten Ulster finalists, and they’ll be strong favourites in their first ‘Super Eights’ match against Roscommon next Saturday at Dr Hyde Park.
Cavan looked like they were up for the fight in the opening minutes – there was even a bit of a schmozzle in the middle of the field to get the crowd going – but their challenge completely wilted after the 10-minute mark.
Tyrone clogged up the channels but this was much, much more than a defensive master-class as they poured forward in numbers and kicked points practically at their leisure throughout the first-half.
Mickey Harte’s reeled off seven points on the trot to leave it 0-9 to 0-2 after 25 minutes of play, and special mention must go to Darren McCurry who at one stage of the first-half kicked three points in as many minutes.
Cavan, who had been written off by all in sundry in the lead up to the match, looked completely bereft of ideas against a supremely well-drilled Tyrone team.
Cavan dangermen Dara McVeety and Cian Mackey were completely nullified by Ronan McNamee and Michael Cassidy respectively, while the likes of Peter Harte, Kieran McGeary and Niall Sludden were dictating the temp of the Tyrone attack.
Goalkeeper Niall Morgan, who had a bit of a nightmare from frees against Kildare, kicked two long-range points from the dead ball as well. It was just one of those days where everything was going right for Tyrone.
Cavan had to wait until the 27th minute before their first point from play arrived courtesy of substitute Conor Madden, but Tyrone kept on tagging on scores to leave it 0-12 to 0-3 at the half-time whistle.
Mickey Graham had already made four substitutions by the beginning of the second-half but Tyrone maintained their grip on proceedings with early points from Sludden and Harte.
The Cavan fans were obviously frustrated by what they were watching. The Tyrone players spent much of the second-half passing the ball around the middle before deciding the perfect moment to attack, and in doing so opened up a 0-17 to 0-5 lead by the 50th minute
There was momentarily concern when Cathal McShane crumbled after reaching for a pass, but thankfully the Owen Roes man got back to his feet.
The game also marked the return to action of Padraig Hampsey and Richie Donnelly, both of whom were introduced in the second-half after returning from injury.
Cavan’s woes were compounded when Ben McDonnell scored a goal seconds after coming into the action, and the last ten minutes were basically a procession albeit Peter Harte’s late black card means he’s set to miss out against Roscommon unless Tyrone successfully appeal.
Remember to read the Tyrone Herald for a full match report and reaction from today’s match