Harte relieved as Tyrone survive unexpectedly stern test from Roscommon
Late comeback proves in vain as John Evans’ side are left to rue costly wides
Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh is tacked by Roscommon’s Niall Carty and David Keenan at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
TYRONE 0-12 ROSCOMMON 1-7: Tyrone manager Mickey Harte acknowledged that his team’s unconvincing All-Ireland qualifier win over Roscommon was about the result rather than the performance.
“You have days like that where it’s about the result and the performance takes second place. We’ve got Round Three coming up. That performance won’t have worried the top teams but we’re still in the championship,” Harte noted.
Tyrone stumbled to a two-point win over the home team who could have gained a momentous victory if they had been more composed in their shooting during a tense finale.
After the match the Tyrone manager said he wasn’t surprised at Roscommon’s performance. “The final score [against Mayo] was an unfair reflection on what they had to offer so we were prepared for what they had but we weren’t ready for how flat we were.”
Roscommon manager John Evans described Tyrone as “a wily, tough team”.
“Tyrone kicked on and went six points clear and that’s when you saw the real Roscommon team and they showed they weren’t going to fold the tent. We had ample opportunity to draw the game, we created the chances but we were crying out for a calm head,” said Evans.
The first score didn’t arrive until the 14th minute when Conor Devaney converted a free. The sides were level on 29 mins when Roscommon got the game’s only goal – Devaney latched onto a long ball from Mannion and, after hitting the post with his initial shot, volleyed the rebound to the net.
Tyrone responded well and were level by half-time with points from Darren McCurry, Donnelly and Conor McAliskey who kicked over a 45 after Martin Penrose was denied a goal by a marvellous save from Darren O’Malley.
With Peter Harte driving forward Tyrone moved up the gears in the third quarter. McCurry sent over three points from frees before curling over the point of the match from a tight angle on the left flank in the 44th minute.
Penrose and Seán Cavanagh stretched the lead to six by the 51st minute before Kevin Higgins had Roscommon’s first score of the second half.
McCurry restored the six-point advantage after 54 minutes yet Tyrone failed to score again as Roscommon finished strongly. Cathal Cregg and Donie Shine slotted frees before a goal-bound Cregg shot was deflected over the bar.
Cregg’s free reduced the gap to two but, with a shock win beckoning, Roscommon kicked four wides in the closing stages.
TYRONE: P McConnell; R McKenna, Joe McMahon, C McCarron; C Clarke, P Harte, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh (0-2, 0-1 45); Matthew Donnelly, Mark Donnelly (0-2), C McGinley; D McCurry (0-6, 0-4 frees), M Penrose (0-1), C McAliskey (0-1, 45). Subs: K Gallagher for McGinley (48 mins), R O’Neill for McAliskey (48 mins), S Warnock for McKenna (58 mins), K Coney for McCurry (63 mins), P McNiece for Mark Donnelly (66 mins).
ROSCOMMON: D O’Malley; N Collins (0-1), N Carty, S McDermott; D Keenan, N Daly, P Brogan; C Shine, K Mannion; C Daly, E Smith, I Kilbride; C Cregg (0-3, 0-2 frees), D Shine (0-1, free), C Devaney (1-1, 0-1 free). Subs: D O’Gara for Smith (39 mins), K Higgins (0-1) for I Kilbride (44 mins), M Finneran for C Daly (50 mins), C Compton for Devaney (56 mins), S Kilbride for D Shine (65 mins).
Referee: D Gough (Meath).