GAA: Tyrone ease to win over Louth

Tyrone's Darren McCurry scores a point. INTT2714-704DCA
Tyrone's Darren McCurry scores a point. INTT2714-704DCA

Tyrone proved themselves far too good for a poor Louth side in Healy Park on Saturday afternoon as they advanced to the second round of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

A scoring blast in the third quarter, sparked by an Emmett McKenna goal, set Tyrone up for a comfortable victory, after what was a disappointing first half display.

The Tyrone starting fifteen players line out in Healy Park. INTT2714-705DCA

The Tyrone starting fifteen players line out in Healy Park. INTT2714-705DCA

A further goal from Stephen O’Neill and points from Darren McCurry, Connor McAliskey and Niall Morgan helped seal victory.

The foundations for the win were laid at midfield, where Colm Cavanagh in particular had an excellent game and covered almost every blade of grass.

In attack both McCurry and McAliskey offered themselves at every opportunity and contributed 0-10 between them, 0-7 from play.

From the throw-in Tyrone were on top and ran into an early lead with Darren McCurry leading the charge.

Ciaran McGinley's prgoress is impeded by Louth's Derek Maguire. INTT2714-702DCA

Ciaran McGinley's prgoress is impeded by Louth's Derek Maguire. INTT2714-702DCA

The Edendork man pointed twice within the opening couple of minutes to give Tyrone an early lead. A Sean Cavanagh free extended the lead for the Red Hands before McCurry kicked his third point of the afternoon.

Tyrone appeared to be cruising to victory but Adrian Reid issued a warning to the Red Hands as he fired just wide for Louth.

The ‘Wee County’ grabbed their first point through Andy McDonnell and added another shortly after with minor Ryan Burns on target.

Tyrone, however, always looked in control with the Cavanagh brothers on top around the middle.

Colm Cavanagh soars into the air to collect the ball for Tyrone. INTT2714-703DCA

Colm Cavanagh soars into the air to collect the ball for Tyrone. INTT2714-703DCA

Mickey Harte’s charges added three more points in quick succession as they stretched their lead to five points, Connor McAliskey kicking two neat efforts from play and McCurry shown his composure with a straight forward free.

Tyrone then seemed to ease off. Having spurned a number of good chances for goals in the opening 20 minutes, Louth appeared to 
take heart.

Burns got his second point from play and then three scores in the space of a minute from Brian White, Conor Grimes and Andy McDonnell drew them within a point.

Tyrone looked a little rattled but re-asserted their dominance as Sean Cavanagh kicked two straight forward frees to restore the Red Hands three point lead.

The ‘Wee County’ responded well and Brian White drew them within two points at the break with a free, giving the Tyrone management plenty to think about at the interval.

If Tyrone’s first half performance was underwhelming, their opening to the second half was 
breath-taking.

The Red Hands hit the net straight from the throw-in and continued in that vein for the next 15 minutes.

In total Tyrone scored 2-7 without reply as they moved from a slender two point lead into a commanding 15 point.

The goal came about as Peter Harte supplied Emmett McKenna, the Eglish man making no mistake in firing a rasping shot past Neil Gallagher in the Louth goal.

Darren McCurry added another this time from play shortly after, as the ‘Wee County’ lost Padraig Rath to a black card.

Tyrone were dominating now and Sean Cavanagh added his fourth point of the afternoon from play before Harte and Mattie Donnelly combined to tee up Stephen O’Neill for the simplest of palmed finishes.

Niall Morgan then his two frees and a 45’ for Tyrone inside a three minute spell before Cavanagh kicked yet another point this time 
from a free.

The life had been sucked from Louth and they had all but thrown in the towel and things weren’t helped when Ciaran McGinley and Shay McGuigan teamed 
up for a point.

Only Ryan Burns had a offered any resistance for Louth and the teenager got his side’s first score of the half after 50 minutes.

Tyrone were in their groove at this stage, nonetheless, and McCurry, McAliskey and Emmett McKenna extended the lead.

Joe McMahon and Plunkett Kane were introduced to the Tyrone side, the 31st and 32nd players to be used by Mickey Harte in the 2014 championship as Tyrone began to rest some 
established names.

Colm Cavanagh and Stephen O’Neill were among the first to be called to the touchline and Mattie Donnelly, Darren McCurry and Sean Cavanagh would all soon follow.

Tyrone worked another great chance for a goal but Shay McGuigan could only see his effort from no more that a couple of metres out thunder of the crossbar.

Niall Morgan added his fourth point of the half before Connor McAliskey shot over when a goal was a possibility to end the Tyrone scoring for the afternoon.

Louth did add points through Colm Judge and Conor Grimes but it was little consolation as Tyrone advanced with lots to spare.