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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 6 December, 2019

Tyrone enjoy first win over Dublin in six years to knock champions out of hunt for league final

Mattie Donnelly and Cathal McShane did the damage with a haul of 1-7 between them.

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Tyrone 1-14

Dublin 1-11

Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park

THIS WIN HAS been a long time coming for Mickey Harte.

The Tyrone boss enjoyed his second ever victory against Jim Gavin, with his latest one arriving six years to the day after the first.

On their first outing at Jones’ Road since the All-Ireland final defeat, Tyrone put away an off-colour Dublin by three points in a confident display. 

They consigned the Dubs to their third league defeat of the campaign – the most league losses they’ve ever suffered in Gavin’s tenure.

It means the reigning league and All-Ireland champions are out of the race to reach the Division 1 final – the first year since he’s taken charge that they’ve failed to make the decider.

Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Tyrone are left in the running to meet in the final.

This was a performance that Tyrone will file away for later in the summer. They played out the final 20 minutes with a man less after Niall Sludden’s red card, making the win even more impressive.

Their two-man full-forward line of Mattie Donnelly and man-of-the-match Cathal McShane were in electric form, contributing 1-7 between them.

Crucially, Tyrone delivered early ball into their inside duo and it reaped dividends.

Brian Fenton is tackled by Brian Kennedy Brian Fenton is tackled by Brian Kennedy. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Richie Donnelly was excellent at midfield too, and his strong form means Tyrone can afford to leave his brother Mattie further forward. 

Dublin’s most dangerous attacker in the opening half was Cormac Costello and rattled in his second goal of the campaign just four minutes into the game.

Worryingly for Dublin, the in-form Whitehall Colmcilles forward limped off shortly before the break with a knee injury. Dublin had already lost John Small by that stage, while Tyrone’s Tiernan McCann only last until 12 minutes when a hamstring problem forced him off. 

Tyrone’s energy and appetite for work troubled Dublin in the first period. They blew two early goal chances before McShane eventually capitalised on a quality ball inside by Mattie Donnelly.

It was a move that displayed McShane’s brain and brawn. He initially outmuscled David Byrne and his low finish past Stephen Cluxton was a picture of calmness.

Tyrone led by 1-7 to 1-5 at the interval and the sides went tit-for-tat in the third quarter.

The Red Hand’s inside pair of Donnelly and McShane continued to do damage with nearly ever delivery that went into them. 

Tyrone’s use of the advanced mark was excellent as Peter Harte and McShane both scored from the experimental rule. Kilkenny slotted over Dublin’s third point from play of the half in the 62nd minute on a night where their attack failed to hit its usual heights.

A late Mannion free was all they could muster in the form of a comeback as Tyrone defended in numbers and sealed the victory.

Scorers for Tyrone: Cathal McShane 1-4 (0-2m, 0-1f), Mattie Donnelly and Peter Harte (0-1m, 0-2f) 0-3 each, Richard Donnelly and Niall Morgan (0-2f) 0-2 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Paul Mannion 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1m), Cormac Costello 1-0, Ciaran Kilkenny and Dean Rock (0-2f) 0-2 each, Brian Fenton and Con O’Callaghan 0-1 each.


 1. Niall Morgan (Edendork)

2. Pádraig Hampsey (Coalisland)
4. Hugh Pat McGeary (Pomeroy) 
3. Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran)

5. Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher)

22. Brian Kennedy (Doire Lochain)
7. Ben McDonnell (Errigal Ciaran)
15. Kieran McGeary (Pomeroy) 

12. Conor Meyler (Omagh)
9. Richie Donnelly (Trillick) 

11. Niall Sludden (Dromore)
14. Peter Harte (Errigal Ciaran)
6. Frank Burns (Pomeroy) 

10. Mattie Donnelly (Trillick)
8. Cathal McShane (Owen Roe)


18. Rory Brennan (Trillick) for McCann (inj, 12)
13. Connor McAliskey (Clonloe) for Burns (60)
20. Colm Cavanagh (Moy) for McNamee (62)
25. Darren McCurry (Edendork) for Kennedy (68)


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams) 

2. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
3. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)

4. Cian O’Connor (Kilmacud Crokes)

24. James McCarthy (Ballymund Kickhams)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

5. Brian Howard (Raheny)
8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)

10. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
14. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
11. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcilles)
22. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)


19. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens) for Small (inj, 30)
15. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s) for Costello (inj, 35)
25. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s) for Andrews (blood sub, 48)
9. Darren Gavin (Lucan Sarsfields) for O’Sullivan (57)
26. Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge Street) for Rock (60)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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