GAA Football

Declan McClure gives Tyrone midfield platform for success

Declan McClure earned the Star Man accolade despite only coming on as a sub just before half-time
Neil Loughran and Kenny Archer

Ulster Senior Football Championship final: Down 0-15 Tyrone 2-17

 

TYRONE PLAYER RATINGS

 

Niall Morgan: Fired off his kick-outs quickly and accurately early on. Out extremely quickly to close down O’Hanlon for goal chance. Hesitant under one high ball. 6.5

Aidan McCrory: Well advanced up the pitch in opening quarter, shadowing the energetic Millar and won a kick-out for Hampsey’s second score, but less involved as the game wore on. 6.5

Ronan McNamee: Didn’t appear at all troubled by Harrison, apart from being robbed of possession once. Even able to career up the pitch on a couple of occasions. 7

Cathal McCarron: Had his hands full with the pacy Ryan Johnston, and got clattered by the latter’s brother Jerome. Booked in first half and sent off after a tangle late in normal time. 6

Tiernan McCann: Powered forward as ever but wasn’t able to make the most of opportunities, losing possession and kicking a bad wide. Did pick off one easy point. 6.5

Padraig Hampsey: A brilliant beginning, scoring two early points despite doing his defensive work generally very well too, including making an important interception. Could have had a goal, his shot tipped over. 8

Kieran McGeary: Operated mostly on the left flank of defence but got himself black-carded just before half-time by dragging down Gerard McGovern. 5.5

Colm Cavanagh: Out-fielded by Niall Donnelly and seemed to limp after landing. Nowhere near his best but still kept on for his presence. 6

Conall McCann: Getting forward well initially although he was guilty of a poor kick-pass. Did boot over one massive point. 6.5

David Mulgrew: The youngster struggled to make inroads although he kept plugging away and scored the opening point of second half. 6

Niall Sludden: Scored a point and was unlucky another fell short. Found room to get on the ball and provide probing passes, posing problems for the Down defence. 7

Peter Harte: Great pass for Mattie Donnelly’s first point and very active in attack before the break. Terrific efforts to win and retain possession in congested areas. 7.5

Mark Bradley: Moved well but found it hard to get away from O’Hagan. Scored two neat points in the third quarter. 7

Sean Cavanagh: The skipper received some close treatment from the Down full-back line despite dropping deeper. Was off-key, with a wild wide, a shot short, and an over-hit kick-pass, but still scored a point and a free. 6

Mattie Donnelly: A contender for ‘Star Man’, on the ball so often, scoring three points, including the last of the first half. Also provided the assist for opening goal – but did kick three disappointing wides. 8

SUBSTITUTES

Declan McClure: The Clonoe clubman may only have entered the fray in first half injury-time, and even then it was a change enforced by a black card, but he proceeded to make a massive impact. Down had finished the first half strongly, but McClure’s aerial dominance helped Tyrone take over in the opening quarter of the second half, when this final was won. He also won the ball to start the move for the first goal, which made certain of victory. 8.5

Darren McCurry: Made little impact after coming on for Sean Cavanagh apart from a great kicked assist for the second goal. 6.5

Ronan O’Neill: Made an instant impression, netting almost immediately. Scored a sublime second goal and provided an assist for Donnelly. 8

Conor Meyler: Came on for Mulgrew but didn’t get into game. 5.5

Cathal McShane: Operated on the left flank but didn’t catch the eye. 5.5

Lee Brennan: Snapped up a score but also struck a wide. 6.5

 

DOWN

 

Michael Cunningham: Short kick-outs worked well in the first half but forced to go long too often in the second when Tyrone were turning the screw. Lobbed for Tyrone’s second goal. 6

Niall McParland: Looked a little at sea at times as Down struggled to get to the pace of the game, and to stop the Tyrone bodies flying forward. 5.5

Gerard McGovern: Had a good battle with Sean Cavanagh in the first half and limited his influence. 6

Darren O’Hagan: Detailed to pick up Mark Bradley and rarely let him out of his sight in the first half. The Killyclogher man found more space after the break though, scoring two points. 6

Darragh O’Hanlon: Missed a gilt-edged goal chance right on the stroke of half-time when the game was in the melting pot. 5.5

Conaill McGovern: Tyrone hoovered up so much break ball, especially in the second half, that McGovern saw little of the ball. Kicked one disappointing wide. 6

Caolan Mooney: Scored three good points in the second half, but by that stage the game was gone. Kicked two wides in the first half. 6.5

Peter Turley: Looked to be struggling either with injury or maybe the fierce heat, but nowhere near the influence exerted against Monaghan. Withdrawn after half-time. 5.5

Niall Donnelly: Unable to have much effect as Tyrone easily won the midfield battle when Declan McClure was introduced. 6

Kevin McKernan: Not his usual influential self. Black carded early in the second half. 5.5

Conor Maginn: Lively in the first half, especially when Down came on strong in the minutes leading up to the break, but didn’t count in the second half. 6

Shay Millar: One of the star performers of Down’s run to the Ulster final, yesterday wasn’t his day. Scored an early point but a peripheral figure as Tyrone took control. 5.5

Jerome Johnston: Got on plenty of ball in the first half but didn’t always make best use of it. Yellow carded in the 13th minute and withdrawn in the 49th minute. 6

Connaire Harrison: Unable to reproduce his heroics from the Monaghan game as Ronan McNamee kept him under lock and key. 5.5

Ryan Johnston: Had some good moments, central to most of Down’s better play in the first half. Always composed on the ball and scored two points. 6.5

SUBSTITUTES

Joe Murphy: Came on as a black card sub for McKernan early in the second half and did well, giving Down some pace from deep. 6.5

David McKibbin: Picked up a point and a yellow card after coming for Turley on in the 47th minute, but by then Down were chasing a lost cause. 6

Donal O’Hare: Won one ball towards the end of game but found himself surrounded by Tyrone players. Involved in some of Down’s better passages of play as they did okay late on. 6

Mark Poland: Wasn’t involved much before he was forced off with a head injury in the 70th minute. 6

Aidan Carr: Came on with 11 minutes left, by which stage the game was long over. 6

Sean Dornan: Not on long enough to be rated

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