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Dublin: 13°C Monday 19 April 2021

Cavanagh rescues Tyrone to force draw with Down in five-goal Ulster opener

Mickey Harte’s side lost a seven-point lead during the second-half of today’s game in Omagh.

Tyrone and Down will meet again in Páirc Esler next Saturday night.
Tyrone and Down will meet again in Páirc Esler next Saturday night.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Tyrone 2-11
Down 3-8

SEAN CAVANAGH RESCUED Tyrone with a marvelous last-gasp pointed free to force a draw against Down in today’s Ulster championship opener in Omagh.

Cavanagh’s 74th minute free came moments after he had pointed another free and ensured Mickey Harte’s side were relieved to force a replay in Newry next Saturday night.

Tyrone had bossed the game to lead 1-5 to 0-3 at half-time and were seven points clear at one stage in the second-half. But Down fought back to take the initiative thanks to a key goalscoring ability and the inspirational impact of Benny Coulter after he was introduced at the interval.

Down were left to rue being pegged back by Tyrone, particularly as Donal O’Hare missed a 14-yard free just before Cavanagh converted a brace of placed balls.

The game ended in a welter of excitement but it only sparked to life in the closing stages after a turgid opening period. Tyrone controlled the first-half and were boosted by Peter Harte smashing home a penalty after Mark Donnelly had been fouled.

Down made amends for their poor start to the game after the break when they hit the net. Aidan Carr scored a penalty that was awarded after Jerome Johnston was fouled by Niall Morgan, who was subsequently shown a black card.

Aidan Carr scores a penalty Aidan Carr struck to the net for Down just after half-time. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Tyrone looked to have recovered from that concession when Kyle Coney floated over some brilliant points and Darren McCurry expertly planted the ball into the corner of the net after a flowing team move in the 54th minute.

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Down looked in serious trouble then but they hit back immediately when O’Hare scored a goal and then three minutes later Conor Maginn bagged their third goal after being set up by Conor Laverty.

James McCartan’s side were flying at this stage with Laverty, Mark Poland and Benny Coulter pointing to send them 3-8 to 2-9 clear. They looked on course for a quarter-final meeting with Monaghan before Cavanagh intervened to save Tyrone.

Conor Gormley and Conor Laverty Conor Gormley was brought on in the second-half for Tyrone. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Scorers for Tyrone: Sean Cavanagh 0-5 (0-3f), Darren McCurry 1-2 (0-2f), Kyle Coney 0-3, Peter Harte 1-0 (1-0 pen), Niall Morgan 0-1 (0-1f).

Scorers for Down: Donal O’Hare 1-2 (0-2f), Aidan Carr (1-0 pen), Conor Maginn 1-0 each, Conor Garvey, Ambrose Rogers, Mark Poland, Niall Madine, Conor Laverty, Benny Coulter 0-1 each.

Niall Morgan
Aidan McCrory
Danny McBride
Barry Tierney
Tiernan McCann
Mattie Donnelly
Peter Harte
Colm Cavanagh
Conor Clarke
Mark Donnelly
Sean Cavanagh
Ciaran McGinley
Darren McCurry
Niall McKenna
Kyle Coney.

Ryan McKenna for McCann
Michael O’Neill for Morgan
Stephen O’Neill for N McKenna
Justin McMahon for McBride
Conor Gormley for Tierney
Martin Penrose for McGinley

Brendan McVeigh,
Dan McCartan
Brendan McArdle
Ryan Boyle
Declan Rooney
Aidan Carr
Conor Garvey
Peter Turley
Ambrose Rogers
Conor Maginn
Mark Poland
Kevin McKernan
Donal O’Hare
Niall Madine
Conor Laverty

Ryan Johnson for Boyle
Benny Coulter for Turley
Jerome Johnson for Rogers
Liam Doyle for J Johnson
Damien Turley for Garvey
Paul Devlin for Maginn

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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