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Clinical Tyrone power past Down to retain Ulster crown

Ronan O’Neill scored two second-half goals to kill off Down in Clones.

Ronan O'Neill fires home the first of two goals in Clones.
Ronan O'Neill fires home the first of two goals in Clones.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Tyrone 2-17

Down 0-15

TYRONE SECURED A second successive Ulster senior football championship title this afternoon as Mickey Harte’s side swept Down aside with a powerful and clinical performance in Clones.

Just two points separated the sides at half time but the defending champions came out of the blocks quickly and scored the first seven points of the second period, before substitute Ronan O’Neill scored a brace to kill off the Down challenge.

Mark Bradley, Sean Cavanagh and Mattie Donnelly all starred for the Red Hand county as they lifted the Anglo-Celt trophy for the 15th time with a display which now installs them as genuine All-Ireland contenders.

It was bitter disappointment for Down on their first appearance in the provincial decider since 2012 as they were unable to deal with the pace and precision of Tyrone, who produced some brilliant scores in front of 31,192 at St Tiernach’s Park.

After a slow start, Down kept in touch and fine long-range scores Ryan Johnston and Niall Donnelly meant they trailed by just two at the break but Darragh O’Hanlon’s spurned goalscoring chance would prove costly.

Sean Cavanagh lifts the cup Sean Cavanagh lifts the cup. Source: Presseye/Philip Magowan/INPHO

The contest was all but over 10 minutes after the restart as Tyrone showed their clinical edge to rattle off a succession of points before O’Neill firstly fired low past Michael Cunningham and then delicately lobbing the goalkeeper after another sweeping move.

A place in the All-Ireland quarter-final now lies ahead for Tyrone, with Down facing the qualifiers.

Tyrone scorers: R O’Neill 2-0, P Hampsey 0-3, P Harte 0-2, M Donnelly 0-2, N Sludden 0-1, S Cavanagh 0-2, D Mulgrew 0-1, M Bradley 0-2, C McCann 0-1.

Down scorers: S Millar 0-1, R Johnston 0-2, N Donnelly 0-1, D O’Hanlon 0-5, C Mooney 0-2, C Maginn 0-1, M Cunningham 0-1, J Murphy 0-1, D McKibbin 0-1.

TYRONE

1. N Morgan

2. A McCrory
3. R McNamee
4. C McCarron

5. T McCann
6. P Hampsey
7. P Harte

8. C Cavanagh
9. C McCann

10. D Mulgrew
11. N Sludden
12. K McGeary

13. M Bradley
14. S Cavanagh
15. M Donnelly

DOWN

1. M Cunningham

2. N McParland
3. G McGovern
4. D O’Hagan

5. D O’Hanlon
6. C McGovern
7. C Mooney

8. K McKernan
9. N Donnelly

10. J Murphy
11. C Maginn
12. S Millar

13. J Johnston
14. C Harrison
15. R Johnston.

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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