Tyrone get the job done against Longford

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Longford 0-15 1-17 Tyrone
Full time

An inexperienced Tyrone side needed a solid second half performance to get past a resolute Longford in what was another lacklustre performance by Mikey Harte’s men.

The Red Hands could only  manage to stay in touch with Longford in the first half as both sides traded points in the opening minutes before Longford’s work ethic earned them the advantage.

Glenn Ryan will be proud of his side’s shape as they defended and attacked in packs, quickly turning the ball over and supporting each other to advance up the pitch.

Sean McCormack turned in a great performance in front of the posts, taking six points in total and getting the better of a disjointed Tyrone defense on other occasions to set up Brian Kavanagh.

Longford lead at half-time 0-8 to 0-7 and were good value for it having been first to all of the breaking ball throughout the half, the second half was a different story though.

Tyrone took control early on shooting 1-02 in the opening minutes to take a four point lead.

Mark Donnelly bore down on goal two minutes into the half with support from Phillip Jordan, who was involved in much of Tyrone’s scores, but opted to go himself and netted emphatically.

Tyrone were now settled into the game and spent the remainder trading points with Longford with no real chance of a comeback.

That said, Longford didn’t lie down by any means they continuing to defend in numbers, on a number of occasions forcing the midfield duo of Aidan Cassidy and Joe McMahon to play backwards in order to retain possession.

When Tyrone did break through McMahon linked up well with Peter Harte  helping the Errigal Ciaran youngster rack up six points.

Tyrone were far from their best but with a young side who came through comfortably enough in the end Mickey Harte will be happy to progress to the next round of qualifiers.

35min Brain Dooher in for Brian McGuigan, Tyrone need to be more clinical this half, spent too much timing working the ball in front of the Longford defence rather than taking the scores
Apologies for the technical difficulties again, hopefully all sorted now. Both teams back out for the second half now, Tyrone have been second best so far.
30min Longford are good value for the lead as they win yet another breaking ball
28min Tyrone look tense as McGuigan gives away a foolish free kick while attacking
27min Apologies for technical difficulties, McCormack just scored two to give Longford a two point lead after Cavanagh levelled it for Tyrone
16min Longford captain Paul Barden booked for a high tackle, they’re certainly up for it
15min McCormack give Longford the lead, good game brewing
14min McGelliott levels it again
13min Colm Cavanagh reads a poor kick out well and Peter Harte adds his second point, well taken
12min Bit of pushing and shoving after a high tackle from Kavanagh on a Tyrone player
11min Impressive start from Longford who haven’t been overwhelmed by Tyrone
11min Peter Harte equalises after good work from Coney on the left hand side
10min Noel Farrell, knocks it over the bar from distance, good work from Francis Magee who was a late replacement or Masterson in the Longford starting line-up
8min Donnelly equalises through a smart bit of passing in front of the Longford back line
5min Longford defending in packs, turn the ball over and Paul Barden gives them the lead
4min It’s a wide a piece each as this game has yet to really get going
3min Those changes: McMahon in for Davey Hart, Aidan Cassidy in for Kevin Hughes, Colm Kavanagh for Brian Dooher, Stephen O’Neill for Martin Penrose and Kyle Coney starts
2min Longford equalise through Kavanagh
1min Tyrone open the scoring through Kyle Coney
0min Mikey Harte has made five changed to his announced line-up more on those in a second, and we’re off
0min 15 minute delay announced due to crowd congestion on the way in here
0min Tyrone will fancy their chances of a big win this evening.

Longford (SF v Tyrone): D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; S Mulligan, K Diffley, N Farrell; B McElvaney, M Brady; D Barden, D Masterson, P Barden; D McElligott, B Kavanagh, S McCormack.

Tyrone (SFC v Longford): P McConnell; M Swift, Joe McMahon, R McMenamin; D Harte, C Gormley, P Jordan; K Hughes, S Cavanagh; B Dooher, B McGuigan, P Harte; M Penrose, M Donnelly, S O’Neill.

Longford have perhaps one of the most difficult ties in round two of the football qualifiers,when they welcome Tyrone to Pearse Park this Saturday evening. The Leinster side have had a reasonable campaign to date but would have been hoping for an easier tie than Mickey Harte’s side.

Having said that, if there was ever a time to take on the Red Hands it would probably be this weekend. Tyrone would have been expecting to come through the front door and it is doubtful that a trip to Pearse Park was ever part of their plans for this season. Defeat to Donegal in Ulster put paid to the easy route and they must now regroup and meet the challenge that lies ahead. On paper they should have far too much class for Longford but they will need to bring their “a game” down south this weekend.

Despite a one point defeat to Laois in Leinster, Longford played very well on the day and were unlucky not to at least earn a draw. The side have been improving over the last number of seasons and have some excellent footballers in their ranks. They faced a difficult tie in the opening round but emerged from Breffni Park with an easy victory over Cavan.

Tyrone will almost certainly win this tie but Longford have to be of interest for handicap punters. The Leinster side relish the qualifiers and almsot shocked Kerry two years ago. If they are given any double figure start than the prices should be snapped up.


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