Where it was won by Tyrone and lost by Derry
Cathal McShane (Tyrone) v Brendan Rogers (Derry)
Karl McKaigue’s containment job on Peter Harte was too one-sided for this category. Although Cathal McShane scored five points from play, he still had a serious contest against Brendan Rogers.
McShane definitely got the better of it early on, with two great catches leading to points for himself, and Rogers was then moved onto Mattie Donnelly for a time. McShane took two more points off Liam McGoldrick but found it harder going when Rogers returned to mark him, with the Slaughtneil man only allowing him one more point from play – and even embarking on a galloping run up the left wing late on.
There were some fabulous scores from play – from Hampsey, Michael Cassidy (his second), Hugh Pat McGeary, and Conor McAtamney – but the decision is between the two goals.
Derry’s was well-worked by Enda Lynn and fiercely finished by Shane McGuigan, but Tyrone’s was even better. Niall Morgan sent a superb kick-out to Richie Donnelly on the left wing, who despatched a delightful diagonal kick-pass to Darren McCurry. The Edendork man might have taken his point but he shot low and precisely into the bottom corner of the net.
(See Top Score?)
Ok, as my editor won’t accept that, it has to be the Derry goal, which made a real contest of this, levelling matters on the scoreboard, at 0-13 to 1-10. The visitors had been playing well after their slow start but the Red Hands always seemed to be keeping them at arm’s length – until Lynn wriggled through to free Shane McGuigan and he fairly lashed the ball past Niall Morgan. Although Tyrone went back in front Derry had the scent of victory in their nostrils, and took the lead before the hosts’ late charge secured the win.
TACTICAL TAKE: TYRONE
STARTED off brightly, and against the wind in the first half there was an obvious reluctance to kick ball away. Although there was an odd bomb, they were that bit more patient than they had been during the league. It wasn’t always effective and having gone 0-6 to 0-1 up, they scored just once more in the first half. Struggled to get Peter Harte or Niall Sludden into the game, which went a long way to nullifying their attack. Padraig Hampsey didn’t look overly comfortably as sweeper but Colm Cavanagh wasn’t at his best when he came in either, and ultimately went out again 37 minutes later. Their attacking game was more adventurous in the second half and Mattie Donnelly became a much greater foil for McShane, who was outstanding.
TACTICAL TAKE: DERRY
THE Oak Leafers got their set-up almost spot-on. Their match-ups weren’t far away, with Tyrone’s offensive superiority hard to blame on the sideline technicians. Their system, with 13 working like dogs up and down and McGuigan and Bell as the outlets for the early ball troubled Tyrone, and their tackling bore all the hallmarks of the work for which Ciaran Meenagh has been lauded. They tried to test Tyrone with high ball early on and when the first three were lost, they rightly stopped it. Kickouts worked fairly well and they pressed Niall Morgan’s well a lot of the time too. Will have to rethink Chrissy McKaigue’s positioning as the sweeper, but there is no other outstanding candidate for the role.
Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)
IN general, Neilan had a fairly sharp game, if one that leaned slightly towards the attacking team. A number of frees were relatively soft. Got most of the calls right. Was let down by linesman Ciaran Branagan on Ben McDonnell’s dangerous tackle on Padraig Cassidy, where the ref was on the wrong side but his sideline man had a perfect view that should have changed yellow to red. Was also lenient on Colm Cavanagh, who committed three frees that all looked like bookable offences.