Tyrone get out of jail as referee needs Garda escort

Late Cathal McShane point rescued Mickey Harte’s side who progressed after extra-time

 

Meath 0-19 Tyrone 2-14 (after extra-time)

Last year’s All-Ireland semi-finalists Tyrone are still in the championship by the skin of their teeth after overcoming a stern Meath challenge in an absorbing qualifier that went to extra-time at Pairc Tailteann.

Referee Paddy Neilan had to receive a Garda escort at the end after turning away strong claims for a foul on Meath’s James McEntee seconds from the finish with the home side a point in arrears. The Meath management were incensed by the decision.

The sides had finished level 1-11 to 0-14 at the end of normal time with Tyrone seconds away from a shock exit before Cathal McShane kicked an equalising point almost a minute after the allotted five minutes of added time had been played.

It was level pegging again after Connor McAliskey and James McEntee swapped points at the start of extra-time but then Tyrone scored a decisive goal that would ultimately see them over the line.

It came from substitute Harry Loughran, who slapped to the net from a Ronan O’Neill pass. McShane and Niall Sludden added to the Tyrone tally and the Red Hand led 2-14 to 0-16 as the sides changed ends for the final time.

Meath made a bid to extend their stay in the championship in the final 10 minutes with points from Thomas O’Reilly, Shane Glynn and a Donal Lenihan free but their revival came up just short.

Tyrone had Tiernan McCann sent off for a straight red card offence following an off the ball incident involving Ben Brennan on 66 minutes. They trailed by a point at the time but got back level after Connor McAliskey converted a free.

However, Meath seemed to have snatched it following Ben Brennan’s free on 69 minutes.

Earlier the sides had been level on six occasions in the second half. Meath led for the first time when Brennan converted a free to put his side into a 0-12 to 1-8 lead and kicked his side ahead on two further occasions, the final time a minute from the end of normal time. The St Colmcille’s man soon turned from hero to villain though as he was dismissed on receipt of a second yellow card moments later.

McAliskey was outstanding in the opening half for the eventual winners, scoring 1-5 as his side led 1-6 to 0-7 at the break.

However, they should have been ahead by much more at that stage as a combination of poor finishing, the woodwork and Meath keeper Andy Colgan prevented further goals.

Meath: A Colgan; S Gallagher, C McGill, S Lavin; J McEntee (0-2), S Curran, D Keogan (0-1); B Menton, A Flanagan; M Burke (0-1), B Brennan (0-6, 0-3 frees), C O’Sullivan (0-2); G Reilly, D Lenihan (0-4, 4 frees), J Wallace (0-1). Subs: T O’Reilly (0-1) for Lenihan (54), E Wallace for Burke (56), B McMahon for J Wallace (58), C O’Brien for Brennan (extra-time), S Glynn (0-1) for Gallagher (75), D O’Neill for McGill (80), L for Lavin (83).

Tyrone: M O’Neill; HP McGeary, R McNamee, P Hampsey; T McCann, M McKernan (0-1), F Burns (0-2); C Cavanagh, P McNulty; M Donnelly, N Sludden (0-1), C Meyler; C McShane (0-2), R Donnelly, C McAliskey (1-8, 0-6 frees). Subs: K McGeary for Meyler (48 mins), R Brennan for HP McGeary (48), H Loughran (1-0) for R Donnelly (52), D McClure for McNulty (61), R McNabb for McNamee (67), R O’Neill for McCann (extra-time), C Meyler for McKernan (78), C McCann for McShane (86).

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon).

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