Tyrone’s merciless master class leaves Offaly down and out

All-Ireland SFC qualifier round one: Tyrone 1-27 Offaly 0-8

Tyrone’s Seán Cavanagh wins possession ahead of Offaly’s David Hanlon at O’Connor Park, Tullamore on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tyrone gave a masterly display of highly efficient football to record the easiest of victories over a shockingly poor Offaly side in Tullamore on Saturday.

On this occasion, the final scoreline did provide an accurate reflection of the difference between the teams and, if anything, Tyrone could have won by even more.

Their solitary goal came from the boot of impressive sub, Ronan O’Neill, nine minutes from time and had their need been acute enough, there is no doubt that they could have ran in two or three more goals before that.

It was real men against boys stuff and Tyrone’s tackling and ability to close down opponents was really excellent. They certainly provided a lesson in the finer arts of football to a woefully outclassed Offaly side who never got going and were a beaten docket from an early stage.


Tyrone controlled the game from start to finish and their safe passage to the next round was assured as early as the 11th minute.

The board
With the wind on their backs, they came flying out of the blocks and had six points on the board before a beleaguered Offaly side knew what hit them.

With Darren McCurry in sensational form in the corner and Colm and Seán Kavanagh controlling midfield, Tyrone kept their foot to the pedal and Offaly had no answer.

Amazingly the winners had a whopping 14 points on the board before Offaly’s only first -half point came from a Niall McNamee free.

Tyrone led 0-15 to 0-1 at the break and this meant the second half was a formality.

Offaly did improve a small bit in the second half but this was more down to Tyrone easing back than anything they did.

Tyrone had 20 points on the board before Offaly staged a mini-revival of sorts. They were only outscored by 1-7 to 0-7 in the closing 25 minutes but this was poor consolation for them.

Mickey Harte will be pleased and it was impressive stuff from Tyrone but they will be taking the level of opposition into account when they reflect on the game this week.

For Offaly, it made very painful viewing. With three panel members heading to the USA after the Leinster championship defeat by Kildare, they were a sorry outfit as their season ended on the most disappointing of notes.

TYRONE: P McConnell; R McKenna, D McBride, C McCarron; C Clarke (0-2), P Harte, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh (0-6, five frees); Matthew Donnelly (0-3), Mark Donnelly (0-2), C McGinley (0-1); D McCurry (0-8, five frees), M Penrose, C McAliskey (0-2). Subs: Joe McMahon for C Kavanagh (half-time), R O'Neill (1-2) for McCurry (51 mins), A Cassidy for Clarke (57 mins), K Coney (0-1, free) for Penrose (60 mins), P Kane for Matthew Donnelly (64 mins).
OFFALY: A Mulhall; B Darby (0-1), P McConway, S Sullivan; E Carroll, D Kelly, D Hanlon; A McNamee, J Brickland; G Guilfoyle, P Cunningham, D Corbett; N Darby, N McNamee (0-1, free), K Casey (0-4, two frees). Subs: P Bracken (0-1) for Brickland (14 mins), C Hurley (0-1) for Guilfoyle (23 mins), D Currams for Kelly (26 mins), R Allen for A McNamee (40 mins), W Mulhall for Carroll (48 mins).
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).