Comeback kings

Tyrone power to top of Division 1 as strong second half performance blows Cavan away

Cavan now find themselves in a relegation dogfight.

TYRONE’S STRONG SECOND half display at Healy Park ensured Mickey Harte’s side kept their unbeaten league record, and powered to the top of the Division 1 table.

Tyrone and Cavan players tussle Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

A competitive first half saw the visitors take the lead entering the break though, with the help of a Gearoid McKiernan goal.

Following a pulsating start in typical Ulster football fashion, the game soon turned ill-tempered. Referee David Gough was forced to hand out three yellow cards in the opening ten minutes, but both sides soon found their feet.

It was tit-for-tat for most of the first half, with the sides level on six occasions.

Peter Harte and Gerard Smith Tyrone's Peter Harte and Cavan's Gerard Smith. Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Most of Tyrone’s opening scores came from frees, which Sean Cavanagh — making his first start of the campaign — pointed accordingly. Meanwhile McKiernan, Dara McVeety and Martin Reilly all got their name on the score sheet at the other end.

Late in the half, McKiernan found the back of the net to give his side the edge.

Tyrone were caught at the back, as Conor Madden’s ball found the Swanlinbar club man before he palmed the ball into the goal.

Down by four points at the interval, Tyrone returned to the field all guns blazing, with a strong wind advantage.

Sean Cavanagh and Rory Dunne Sean Cavanagh hit three frees. Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

They took the lead during the 49th minute, and dominated from there, outscoring their opponents by six points throughout the 35 minutes.

Cavan’s single point in the second half was far from ideal, as Mark Bradley inspired the Red Hands off the bench, with three impressive points.

Both Ronan McNamee and Darren McCurry were dealt black cards, but Tyrone were well on their way.

Peter Harte lashes out at Killian Brady Peter Harte lashes out at Killian Brady. Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO Presseye / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO / Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Seven points was the margin in the end, with goalkeeper Niall Morgan and substitute Ronan O’Neill ending all hopes of a late Cavan comeback.

The Breffni men now find themselves facing a fight for survival in Divison 1, as they sit just above last-place Roscommon, with a single point on the board.

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