Tyrone put a halt to Dublin’s gallop

Mickey Harte’s side take the points at Croke Park

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey challenges  Stephen O'Neill of Tyrone during the Allianz Football League Division 1 clash at  Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey challenges Stephen O'Neill of Tyrone during the Allianz Football League Division 1 clash at Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho


IAN O’RIORDAN at Croke Park
Dublin 1-14 Tyrone 0-18:
Dublin's unbeaten run at the top of the Allianz Football League is over, Tyrone just about getting the better of their old rivals for the first time in four games, and with that bringing themselves back level at the top of Division One.

A second half run of scores from Seán Cavanagh, Peter Harte and substitute Plunkett Kane kept the Ulster side in front, having come from behind in the first half – despite hitting a spate of wides.

On another cold March night at Croke Park, Dublin came looking to make it five wins from five games – but Tyrone had other ideas, having lost last three meetings with Dublin, between league and championship.

Before a crowd of 19,884 (Dublin's hurlers losing out to Limerick in the curtain-raiser), and the third stop of the Spring Series, the game proved something of a slow burner, but came alight in the closing quarter as Dublin fought desperately to maintain their unbeaten run.

Dublin had only ever lost one of their previous 10 Spring Series games, and looking so comfortable at the top of Division One, manager Jim Gavin deciding to shake things up a little.

Bernard Brogan was the surprise omission, Gavin choosing to rest his star forward – back in red hot form – and in fact made four further changes from the team announced on Thursday.

Rory O'Carroll and Michael Dara Macauley were also held in reserve, with Kevin McManamon replacing Brogan in the forwards, Philly Ryan coming in for Ciaran Reddin, Denis Bastick replacing Macauley, Ger Brennan playing at full back instead of O'Carroll, and finally, Darragh Nelson replaced Jonny Cooper at corner back.

This certainly took some of the momentum that Dublin gained against Kildare here last Sunday, although they still started the first half well – going 1-3 to 0-2 in front after 15 minutes, the goal started by McManamon with one of his trademark bustling runs, his shot half blocked but then finished into the net by Philly McMahon.

Despite hitting 10 wides in the first half, Tyrone went into the break one point in front - 0-10 to Dublin's 1-6. They extended this to three points in the next 10 minutes, Seán Cavanagh sending over the best of the points from an acute right angle.

With that Dublin raised the tempo again, a left-footed free from Diarmuid Connolly and a second point from Paul Flynn reducing the margin to the minimum. Then came a beauty from McManamon, from the left of Hill 16, to level the score with 55 minutes gone.

Confidence suddenly restored, Paddy Andrews fired Dublin in front, briefly, before Tyrone substitutes Patrick McNiece and Plunkett Kane swung the advantage back their way.

Dublin made a series of efforts to get back at least on level terms, but a late free from Connolly brought them back to within a point, and that's as close as they got – Tyrone in fact nearly stealing a late goal, only for Jack McCaffrey to clear the ball off the line.

Still it leaves both times primed for a place in the semi-finals, and perhaps even another meeting before the league season is out.

DUBLIN: S Supple; D Nelson, G Brennan, K O'Brien; J McCaffrey, C O'Sullivan, D Daly; D O'Mahony, D Bastick; P Flynn (0-2) , D Connolly (0-6, five frees) , C Kilkenny; P Ryan (1-0) , P Andrews (0-2) , K McManamon 0-2 . Subs: C Dias (0-1) for Kilkenny (6 mins, inj), MD Macauley (0-1) for O'Mahony (half-time), B Cullen for Dias (45 mins), N Devereux for Nelson (61 mins).
TYRONE: N Morgan (0-1, free) ; A McCrory, C Gormley, C McCarron; Joe McMahon, Justin McMahon, R McNamee; C Cavanagh (0-1) , S Cavanagh (0-5, two frees) ; Matthew Donnelly, P Harte (0-2, one free) , C McGinley; M Penrose (0-1) , S O'Neill (0-3) , Mark Donnelly (0-2) . Subs: P McNiece (0-1) for Matthew Donnelly (half time), P Kane (0-2) for McGinley (55 minutes), R McKenna for Joe McMahon, C McAliskey for Penrose (62 mins), D McBride for Justin McMahon (68 mins).
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)

Cork 0-12 0-10 Donegal
Dublin 1-14 0-18 Tyrone
Kerry 0-11 1-05 Down
Mayo 0-13 1-11 Kildare

Armagh 1-10 1-12 Louth
Derry 0-14 0-05 Longford
Laois 1-15 0-10 Galway

Antrim 1-06 0-11 Roscommon
Cavan 1-10 1-12 Fermanagh
Meath 1-17 2-12 Sligo
Monaghan 5-13 3-10 Wicklow

Leitrim 3-14 3-07 Waterford
Limerick 0-09 0-15 Tipperary
Offaly 2-11 1-11 Carlow