Tyrone coach Feargal Logan praises grassroots effort for U21 success
Ulster champions make All-Ireland football final after overcoming Roscommon
Roscommon’s Ronan Daly surrounded by the Tyrone defence during the Red Hand’s semi-final win at Markievicz Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Tyrone 0-17 Roscommon 0-12
Tyrone U-21 manager Feargal Logan commended the grassroots effort in the county that is coming to fruition in his All-Ireland final bound outfit.
Tyrone were the more powerful, tenacious and skilful outfit as they breezed past a highly-rated Roscommon side at Markievicz Park on Saturday and Logan insisted those talents have not just blossomed since his squad got together at the start of the season.
“It’s fight or flight at this stage in Tyrone. If people keep kicking you into a corner then there’s no time to be afraid. These boys showed it today. Travel the pitches of Tyrone this morning, travel them on Monday evening and you will see the health of Tyrone football,” Logan said.
Finishing school“It’s not bad at the finishing school end of it here, but we give a lot of thanks to all the gaels of Tyrone who work with young footballers from four years and up. The bottom line is if you look beyond Peter and Brian in this outfit you are looking at a lot of other people who are putting everything they have into Tyrone football.”
Certainly, there is talent in abundance in this Tyrone side. In Lee Brennan they have discovered a left-footed maestro that takes on his marker and kicks points for fun. And his best point came from his right boot.
Around the middle third, Roscommon failed to lay a hand on Cathal McShane, who was excellent for Tyrone. His canny knack of appearing on the scene just at the right time to land a point from distance had a demoralising effect on the Connacht champions. His partner Francis Burns did likewise in injury time to put three between the sides after a Roscommon revival.
“We have some quality players, that’s the bottom line and quality players win football matches. We are just delighted,” said Logan.
“Hard work equals reward in every aspect of life and these boys have responded, have worked hard and have their reward so lets hope they get the big one home.”
Failed to fireAt the other end of the field too many of Roscommon’s main men failed to fire. Diarmuid Murtagh was held to two points from play, but was still Roscommon’s best forward. Enda Smith was kept quiet by the excellent Pádraig Hampsey, while Ultan Harney was also silenced.
After Tyrone raced into a four-point lead after seven minutes, it is to Roscommon’s credit that they only trailed 0-10 to 0-7 at the break. Cathal Compton’s three points helped Roscommon gain a foothold, but McShane, Brennan and a pair of points from Mark Kavanagh kept Logan’s side clear.
On two occasions during the second half Roscommon, who were aiming for a third All-Ireland final appearance in four years, put two points between the sides, but the Red Hand were always able to hit back immediately and ease to victory.
“We were looking to get a good start and we didn’t get it. We always knew that if they got a head start that they would keep it going. They weren’t going to panic even when we got back into the game,” said Roscommon manager Mark Dowd.
“But we can’t fault the lads, they put in a massive amount of work since September. They came out to do their best and it didn’t work out for them.”
TYRONE: S Fox; R Mullan, P Hampsey, M Cassidy (0-1); C McLaughlin, R Brennan, K McGeary; F Burns (0-1), C McShane (0-3); C Meyler, M Kavanagh (0-2), M Walsh; L Brennan (0-6, 1f), D McNulty (0-4, 3f), R McGlone.
Subs: S McKenna for McGlone (40 mins), M Bradley for Kavanagh (45 mins), P McKenna for Walsh (57 mins), D Kavanagh for Brennan (60+1 mins).
ROSCOMMON: S Mannion; N McInerney, S Mullooly, D Barron; C Kenny, E McGrath, R Daly (0-1f); C Compton (0-3), T O’Rourke; S Killoran, U Harney, C Kilcline; D Murtagh (0-6, 4f), E Smith, P Kenny.
Subs: N Kelly for Mannion (29 mins), T Corcoran (0-1’45) for O’Rourke (30+3 mins), J Earley (0-1) for Kilcline (h-t), N Gatley for P Kenny (40 mins), K Finn for Compton (59 mins), D Neary for C Kenny (60 mins).
Referee: Pádraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).