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Dublin: 3°C Thursday 26 November 2020
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Connolly back as Dublin round off Super 8s with six-point win over Tyrone

Healy Park in Omagh hosted today’s clash.

Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly and Tyrone's David Mulgrew.
Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly and Tyrone's David Mulgrew.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Dublin 1-16
Tyrone 0-13

WHEN TIME WAS called in Healy Park, it was confirmed that Dublin would collide with Mayo next Saturday and Tyrone would face off with Kerry next Sunday afternoon.

The completion of the the All-Ireland semi-final pairings was the key information to be processed, the upshot of an August Bank Holiday game that fairly dragged from start to finish.

Depart Healy Park and prepare for Croke Park was the order of the day. The minds of the 15,315 crowd present for this quickly shifted at the final whistle to the looming challenges.

The pre-match knowledge that both would be involved in the last four coloured everything about this game. It sparked wholesale changes on both sides and sharply diluted this contest.

When the teams assembled for the throw-in and Joe McQuillan notified that action could commence, the identity of the players absent was as salient as those that were present. Mickey Harte and Jim Gavin had taken a scalpel to their starting sides. Harte pressed a new starting fifteen into action. Gavin made 13 alterations, including six to the team printed in the match programme. 

Luminaries like Jack McCaffrey, Ciaran Kilkenny, Mattie Donnelly and Peter Harte were all given the afternoon off but one of the replacements spiked the interest levels.

Michael McKernan with Cian O’Connor and Robert McDaid Tyrone's Michael McKernan goes up against the Dublin defence.

Diarmuid Connolly spent last summer in Boston, had been planning on a return trip Stateside for this year yet found himself lining up at midfield for Dublin this afternoon. He hadn’t sampled the championship atmosphere for Dublin since the 2017 All-Ireland final or started a game since the Carlow opener that year where he incurred a hefty suspension.

He did his bit for this Dublin win, applying a classy touch to his movement and involvement around the middle. The Dublin fans rejoiced at his best moments, a mark from a kickout in the first half and a left-foot shot that he effortlessly stroked over in the 55th minute. His day culminated prematurely due to a late black card but his input was clear before the serious business kicks in.

Tyrone lost on home soil in a game where they trailed by three at the interval, 0-8 to 0-5, and butchered a bunch of chances to rattle the net. Connor McAliskey prodded a bouncing ball wide in the opening half and drilled another shot against the frame of goalkeeper Evan Comerford.

Conall McCann cracked a shot against the crossbar in the second half, a mess of bodies scrambling for the break before Dublin cleared and McAliskey fired in a rebound that was diverted away for a ’45.

Dublin fans at the game Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Dublin handed maiden championship starts to Seán Bugler and Paddy Small. Both were bright and incisive in attack, Bugler posting 0-3 and setting up Eoghan O’Gara’s late goal while Small popped over a brace of points prior to his withdrawal.

Cormac Costello kicked 0-6 for Dublin while the experienced names of McManamon, Andrews and Brogan all got in on the scoring act as well. McAliskey weighed in with 0-5 for Tyrone but while they got within two points of Dublin on a few occasions, Gavin’s charges pulled clear by the finish. O’Gara palmed the goal to copper-fasten this Dublin victory.

It’ll be a game quickly scrubbed from the memory of both teams. Last four showdowns await next weekend.

Scorers for Dublin: Cormac Costello 0-6, Eoghan O’Gara 1-0, Seán Bugler 0-3, Kevin McManamon, Paddy Small 0-2 each, Paddy Andrews, Bernard Brogan, Diarmuid Connolly 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tyrone: Connor McAliskey 0-5 (0-2f), Richard Donnelly, Kyle Coney (0-2f) 0-2 each, Conan Grugan, Conall McCann, Darren McCurry, Niall Sludden 0-1 each. 

Dublin

16. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

22. Andrew McGowan (Kilmacud Crokes)
2. Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)
3. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)

10. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s)
6. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
5. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)

20. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s)
9. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)

7. Robert McDaid (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
13. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
19. Seán Bugler (St Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh)

26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
17. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
11. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)

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Subs

21. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St-Enda’s) for McCarthy (half-time)
4. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams) for Byrne (half-time)
18. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh) for Cooper (44)
14. Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge Street) for Small (44)
25. Cian O’Connor (Kilmacud Crokes) for O’Carroll (55)
24. Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne (Cuala) for Costello (68)

Tyrone

1. Benny Gallen (Aghyaran)

2. Ciarán McLaughlin (Omagh)
3. Padraig Hampsey (Coalisland)
4. Liam Rafferty (Galbally)

5. Tiarnan McCann (Killyclogher)
6. Aidan McCrory (Errigal Ciarán)
7. Michael Cassidy (Ardboe)

8. Ben McDonnell (Errigal Ciarán)
9. Declan McClure (Clonoe)

10. Richard Donnelly (Trillick)
11. Kyle Coney (Ardboe)
12. Conan Grugan (Omagh)

13. David Mulgrew (Ardoe)
14. Connor McAliskey (Clonoe)
15. Conall McCann (Killyclogher)

Subs

21. Hugh Pat McGeary (Pomeroy) for Hampsey (half-time)
17. Rory Brennan (Trillick) for Cassidy (38)
19. Brian Kennedy (Derrylaughan) for Donnelly (39)
23. Michael McKernan (Coalisland) for Tiarnan McCann (55)
20. Darren McCurry (Edendork) for Conall McCann (57)
26. Niall Sludden (Dromore) for Mulgrew (68)

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Healy Park, Omagh

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