From Odhrán Crumley at Healy Park
National League Division One
Tyrone marked their return to division one football with a comprehensive win over Roscommon in an entertaining contest at Healy Park this afternoon. The Red Hands overcame a number of early setback in conceding an early goal before losing the influential Mattie Donnelly to injury, to win by six points.
Darren McCurry opened the scoring in the opening seconds turning sharply in trademark fashion dispatching the ball over the bar. The Connacht men broke back to the field with great speed and intensity, a period of sublime support play followed before Niall Daly found himself bearing down on goal shooting high into the Tyrone goal giving his side the lead.
The home side responded with three quick fire points the first coming from a 45 coolly sent over the black spot by forward Darren McCurry, with Colm Cavanagh and a Peter Harte free edging his side back into the lead. Conor Devaney responded shooting accurately from range. A further two scores from Harte and another from Ronan O’Neill reestablished the three point lead, before Donie Smith found the target.
Tiernan McCann showed a fantastic array of skills in using the outside of his boot to score in eye catching fashion, Monroe would add another giving Tyrone a five point lead at the break on a scoreline of 0-10 to 1-2.
The Rossies would start the second half sharpest winning the throw in allowing O’Rourke to kick a direct, accurate ball into the full forward line finding Smith who would split the posts. Minutes later Smith would add another score from the tightest of angles.
Niall Sludden would break the cycle driving his side forward exchanging a series of fist passes before firing over amongst a crowd of yellow jerseys. Ronan O’Neill added two more frees before Roscommon number 24 John McManus kicked the score of the game from way out in the left using the outside of his left boot to raise a white flag, Kilroy and Cregg both found their range to cut the lead to three once again.
Mickey Harte would then spring the lively Mark Bradley from the bench who duly obliged kicking two fantastic points making an immediate impact. Meyler and Cregg traded scores before another Tyrone substitute Conall McCann shot high over the bar.
Man of the match Niall Sludden would kick the final score of the game giving his side a six point lead before referee Anthony Nolan brought proceedings to an end with the home side claiming the all important early two points on a scoreline of 0-18 to 1-9.
Next up Tyrone travel to Croke Park to take on the reigning all Ireland champions on Saturday night while Roscommon prepare for the arrival of Donegal next Sunday with a 2:30 throw in.
Tyrone: M O’Neill, P Hampsey, R McNamee, C McCarron, T McCann (0-01), M Donnelly, J Munroe (0-01), C Cavanagh (0-01), D McClure, C Meyler (0-01), N Sludden (0-02), P Harte (0-04, 3f), D McCurry (0-02, 1f, 1 ’45), C McShane, R O’Neill (0-03, 3f).
Subs: A McCrory for Donnelly (15), M Bradley (0-02) for O’Neill (55), S Cavanagh for Munroe (57, C McCann (0-01) for Meyler (63), L Brennan for McCurry (67), C McCullagh for Sludden (69).
Roscommon: C Lavin, D Murray, T Featherston, N McInerney, R Stack, S Mullooly, C Devaney (0-01), K Higgins, T O’Rourke, N Daly (1-00), S McDermott, E Smith, D Smith (0-03), U Harney, C Murtagh.
Subs: S Killoran for Higgins (24), J McManus (0-01) for Murray (35), F Cregg (0-03) for Daly (h-t), N Kilroy (0-01) for Smith (42), C Connolly for Murtagh (55), G Patterson for Smith (68)
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow)