Allianz NFL Division 1 – Tyrone 3-9 Cork 0-16

Red Hands off the mark

From the GAA.ie web site

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Tyrone claimed the first points of their Allianz GAA Football National League Division One campaign with a 3-9 to 0-16 defeat of Cork at Healy Park, Omagh on Saturday night. The Rebels surrendered their unbeaten record in somewhat infuriating circumstances as they dominated the game for long periods but conceded three goals against the run of play. Tyrone made the better start and led by 0-3 to 0-1 after ten minutes. Owen Mulligan scored twice in that period, including the game’s opening score after six minutes, while Colm O’Neill continued his impressive early season form to land a beauty for the Rebels. Martin Penrose added the Red Hands’ fourth point from a free and the home side had a three-point lead and were looking good to win their first league points of the year.

However, Cork, who were late arriving at Healy Park due to the heavy traffic, suddenly, and without warning, awoke from their collective slumber to kick eight points without reply. Colm O’Neill slotted over his second point of the night from a free before Donncha O’Connor showed his team-mates the way with a beauty from play. Paudie Kissane, Pearse O’Neill and Paul Kerrigan were all on target for Cork as they took complete control of the game. Goulding added another point to complete a remarkable turnaround, leaving the Rebels 0-8 to 0-4 ahead after just 26 minutes. Cork nearly found the back after two equally bizarre incidents inside a harum scarum two-minute period. Goalkeeper Jonathan Curran slipped while kicking out the ball and was then caught in possession as Kerrigan attempted to lob the wandering Tyrone netminder, but the ball drifted wide much to Curran’s relief.

Goulding was then guilty of a horrendous miss when he somehow fired the ball against the bar from five yards out after Colm O’Neill’s fisted effort had hit a post and fallen directly into his path. Colm O’Neill then kicked a free to extend Cork’s lead. Conor Gormley stopped the rot for Tyrone with their first score in 22 minutes before the game swung wildly again as Mickey Harte’s side hit the back of the net twice inside a three-minute spell. Colm Cavanagh’s goal in the 35th minute was a thing of real beauty. He sliced through the Cork defence and seeing Ken O’Halloran off his line, clipped a weighted shot over the Rebels’ goalkeeper.

Amazingly, they managed a second goal just before the break, when Tommy McGuigan’s shot was brilliantly saved by O’Halloran, but the Tyrone corner forward reacted quickest to poke the ball home to leave his side — remarkably — 2-5 to 0-9 ahead at the break. Cork regrouped at the start of the second half and hit five points without reply to lead by two in the 43rd minute. Colm O’Neill hit his fifth point of the night in that dominant spell before he was forced off the field with an injury. Séan O’Neill stopped the rot for Tyrone with a monster point from centre-back having come on for the injured Gormley. Tyrone levelled the game thanks to further scores from Davy Harte and Mulligan.

Cork, as is their wont, hit back immediately with a John Hayes point after a sweet team move before Goulding left two between the sides in the 59th minute. Then, Harte’s charges produced another goal out of the blue. Aidan Cassidy had his shot saved by O’Halloran, but Ryan Mellon reacted quickest to the rebound to fire home from a tight angle. Martin Penrose then added another point from a free and the Red Hands had a two-point lead. Cork had plenty of chances to hit back, but Donncha O’Connor – who was shown a red card in the dying minutes for a late challenge on Tommy McGuigan – and Paddy Kelly missed frees as the home side held out for their first win of the campaign.

Team News

CORK (SF v Tyrone): K. O’Halloran; R. Carey, M. Shields, E. Cotter; P. Kissane, G. Spillane, N. O’Leary; A. O’Connor, P. O’Neill; P. Kerrigan, D. O’Connor, P. Kelly; D. Goulding, N. Murphy, C. O’Neill.

TYRONE (SF v Cork): J. Curran; D. Carlin, J. McMahon, C. McCarron; D. Harte, C. Gormley, R. McMenamin; A. Cassidy, C. Cavanagh; M. Donnelly, B. McGuigan, R. Mulgrew; T. McGuigan, M. Penrose, O. Mulligan.