From Odhrán Crumley in Croke Park
National League Division One Round Two
Dublin stretched their unbeaten league and championship run to thirty one games after a gallant fightback against fourteen man Tyrone in Croke Park tonight.
It was Tyrone who opened the scoring in the sixth minute Peter Harte on target from a close range free. The champions responded with Philly McMahon bursting through to kick over. Harte pointed from another free before Conor Meyler ran at the heart of the Dublin defence before shooting high over the bar, giving his side a two point lead.
The Red Hands were wasteful in front of the goals kicking five wides in the opening fifteen minutes. They were dealt another blow in the sixteenth minute when Tiernan McCann was dismissed on a black card, a huge loss in the Tyrone engine room.
Dean Rock was on target kicking skilfully off the ground from a free. Some brilliant defensive play from a wall of white jersey’s suffocated the hosts as they attacked setting up the perfect platform to attack with McCarron and McNamee at the fore. Again however Tyrone would be unable to put their dominance on the board as Padraig Hampsey was blocked down.
It would be the thirty first minute before the next score would come this time Niall Sludden split the posts after returning to the field after having been part of a blood substitution. Sludden would be on hand again to score from thirty yards, Johnny Cooper would reply for the boys in blue. Tyrone holding a narrow two point advantage at half time on a score line of 0-5 to 0-3.
Tyrone would start the second half sharpest with Declan McClure on hand to fire over from a tight angle. Minutes later Joe McQuillan would award Dublin a penalty for a push much to the dismay of the Tyrone contingent. Keeper Niall Morgan was on hand to dive low to his left pushing Dean Rock’s effort away from danger.
It would be another seven minutes before the next score would arrive this time Dean Rock made no mistake kicking over the black spot from a close range free.
Tyrone would break from the resulting score a fine run from Harte and Meyler cut a hole in the Dublin defence before playing in Aidan McCrory who kicked low along the ground past the onrushing Stephen Cluxton into the Dublin net. The Ulster men now led by five.
Mickey Harte’s where then reduced to fourteen in the fiftieth minute with Mark Bradley dismissed on a straight red card for an off the ball incident, no one within the compounds of Croke Park could offer up a reason as to why McQuillan took this action, it appeared he acted on the advice of his linesman, regardless Tyrone faced an uphill task with fourteen men.
Rock was then on target from a further two close range frees before Ciaran Kilkenny reduced the gap to three as Sludden found his way through finding range over the posts into hill sixteen.
With four left on the clock Brian Fenton kicked over after some patient play from Dublin. Tyrone would drop another effort short into Cluxton’s hands punished as Dublin broke with Rock nailing another free from the surface.
Seventy five minutes into the six additional minutes Dean Rock was on hand yet again to kick a free from all of forty five yards to bring both sides level. Tyrone would go on to the attack looking for a winner Aidan McCrory broke to the right miss hitting his pass which went aimlessly into the Cusack Stand.
Cavan referee Joe McQuillan then brought proceedings to an end with both sides sharing the spoils in a tight, intense encounter, it finished Dublin 0-10, Tyrone 1-7.
Tyrone: Niall Morgan; P Hampsey, R McNamee, C McCarron; T McCann, A McCrory (1-00), J McMahon; C Cavanagh, D McClure (0-01); C Meyler (0-01), N Sludden (0-03), P Harte (0-02, 0-02f); M Bradley, C McShane, D McCurry.
Subs: R Brennan for McCann black card, R O’Neill for Sludden (blood sub), S Cavanagh for McShane, J Monroe for McMahon, D Mulgrew for Meyler, C McCann for McCurry, P McNulty for McClure.
Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper (0-01), P McMahon (0-01), M Fitzsimons; J McCarthy, J Small, J McCaffrey; B Fenton (0-01), MD Macauley; C Basquel, C Kilkenny (0-01), N Scully; D Rock (0-06, 0-06f), E O’Gara, P Mannion.
Subs: E Lowndes for Basquel, K McManamon for Macauley, C Reddin for Mannion, D Byrne for McCaffrey, J Whelan for Small, D Daly for Cooper.
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)