Ulster SFC replay: McGinley ensures Tyrone make no mistake

May 24, 2014

Tyrone's Ciaran McGinley celebrates scoring a goal
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Tyrone 3-11
Down 0-12

Goals proved key as Tyrone claimed an eight-point replay win over Down in a pulsating Ulster SFC encounter in front of almost 18,000 spectators at Pairc Esler, Newry this evening.

Ciaran McGinley was in superb form registering 2-1, including a goal in either half, in a game where Tyrone showed great energy in taking on the Down defence, and also registering 13 wides over the contest.

Peter Harte registered Tyrone's third goal following a controversially awarded penalty entering the final quarter, and although Down scored three of the final five points, the visitors held out for a deserved win.

Following a delayed start due to crowd congestion, this game began at a blistening pace.

Conor Maginn was fouled in the square inside the opening 45 seconds, as referee Cormac Reilly had no hesitation in awarding an early penalty.

Aidan Carr was going for his second penalty goal in a week, but Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan dived to his left and kept the ball out.

With light drizzle falling Conor Laverty and Ronan O'Neill traded early points, before scores from O'Neill and Morgan handed Tyrone a 0-3 to 0-1 lead after 13 minutes.

Harte pushed the visitors three points clear from the resulting kick-out, but Down kept in touch thanks to a Donal O'Hare score.

An easy tap-over free from Darren McCurry handed Tyrone a 0-5 to 0-2 lead at the end of the first quarter, but suddenly scores were at a premium.

As tempers heated up, so too did the football, with defences very much getting on top.

O'Hare's second point cut the gap to two points in the 22nd minute, but Tyrone forged further in front.

McGinley's opening goal arrived soon-after, after a long ball in over the Down cover dropped to McGinley who got inside and toe-poked the ball to the net.

A Morgan free pushed Tyrone 1-6 to 0-3 ahead after 27 minutes, and although the Red Hands were comfortable at this stage, they wouldn't score again until the second half.

Down finished the half in impressive fashion with four unanswered points before the break, including scores from Laverty, Maginn and Dan Gordon.

A superb team move in injury-time resulted in O'Hare's third point, and his first from play as the gap was cut to two points at the interval on a 1-6 to 0-7 score-line.

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte made two changes at the break, with the experienced Stephen O'Neill and Conor Gormley introduced and this added hugely to the Red Hands challenge.

If the game began in explosive fashion with an early penalty awarded, well there was as equally memorable a start to the second half.

Errigal Ciaran clubman McGinley was again goal hungry in the opening minute as Brendan McArdle was left exposed for McGinley to send the ball to the top left corner of the net.

McGinley brought his tally to 2-1 inside a minute as he extended Tyrone's lead to six points with a well struck score.

Indeed the half-forward was left unmarked throughout the second half, as the double goal-scorer proved dangerous throughout.

Down needed a score quickly, but Madine's 38th minute effort was wide.

The hosts continued to impress, but Tyrone defended well at the back, as they marshalled strongly.

Morgan struck his third point, seven minutes into the half to open up a 2-8 to 0-7 lead.

Sean Cavanagh sent an effort off the posts, and another wide, before Down manager James McCartan sprung Benny Coulter from the bench.

Down badly needed a score, and on his first touch, Coulter responded with a point inside 30 seconds of his introduction, as Down now began to play some inspired football.

McCartan continued to ring the changes, with Ryan Johnson replacing Niall Madine upfront.

Down worked hard and cut the gap to five points by the 49th minute, as O'Hare popped over his fourth point of the night.

Momentum swung in Tyrone's favour after a controversially awarded penalty at the end of the third quarter, with Ronan McNabb moving goalward, and referee Cormac Reilly awarding a penalty for an apparent push.

Peter Harte comfortably slotted the ball to the net, as Tyrone took a 3-8 to 0-9 into the final quarter.

Mattie Donnelly and Niall McKenna helped Tyrone get two of the next three scores, and although Down rallied with a brace of O'Hare points, Tyrone sealed victory through substitute Conor McAliskey to ensure an eight-point win.

Tyrone will now face Monaghan in the quarter-final in Clones on June 15th.

Tyrone - N Morgan (0-3, 2'45, 1f); A McCrory, J McMahon, R McNamee; R McNabb, M Donnelly (0-1), P Harte (1-1, 1-0pen); C Cavanagh, C Clarke; E McKenna, S Cavanagh, C McGinley (2-1); D McCurry (0-2f), R O'Neill (0-1), K Coney. Subs: S O'Neill for E McKenna, C Gormley for R McNamee, N McKenna (0-1) for K Coney, M Penrose for D McCurry, C McAliskey (0-1) for R O'Neill, D McBride for M Donnelly.

Down - B McVeigh; D McCartan, B McArdle, R Boyle; D Rooney, A Carr, C Garvey (0-1); D Gordon (0-1), J Johnston; C Maginn (0-1), M Poland, K McKernan; D O'Hare (0-6, 4f), N Madine, C Laverty (0-2). Subs: B Coulter (0-1) for A Carr, R Johnston for N Madine, A Rogers for J Johnston, D Turley for D Gordon.

Referee - C Reilly.

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