GAA Football

Niall Morgan and Cathal McShane stand out for Tyrone

Tyrone's Cathal McShane and Roscommon's Conor Daly in action during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship quarter-final Group 2 Phase 1 between Tyrone and Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon on Sunday July 13 2019. Picture by Philip Walsh
Francis Mooney

Cathal McShane's run of red hot form continued at Hyde Park as he shot eight points to see off the Rossies.

But the ace finisher insisted that the outcome could have been different had Tyrone not had another inspired performer keeping the scores out at the other end.

Goalkeeper Niall Morgan has run McShane close as the team's most effective and influential member this season.

And he underlined his importance to the cause with two vital saves in the first half, along with impeccable distribution from restarts and open play.

“Roscommon started well and got in behind us a few times but Niall stood up and that is the type of keeper that he is. Not only is he good at shot stopping but he has the accuracy with his kickouts and frees so he is a very important part of the squad,” said McShane.

When the situation demanded, Tyrone displayed resilience and patience, but when the opportunity presented, were able to switch seamlessly to their ruthless mentality as Roscommon's challenge was clinically dealt with.

“There are days that it works for you and others that it doesn't, it's just all about being patient during a game.

“Roscommon had men back there so it's not going to be on all the time but when the ball in is on you need to be ready and I think that we worked that well in the second half especially.

“When we got the ball in we then managed to get it over the bar and that was important. We knew coming out of here with two points would be a massive result to get our super 8s campaign off with a positive result.”

McShane is the perfect fulcrum for Tyrone's offensive strategy, built upon clever movement, support runs and smart decision-making on whether to run the ball or go long to the target man.

“The better the link obviously the better the chance it gives us to get the ball in closer to goals and get scores.

“We could have come away there today with a couple of goals but their keeper made a couple of saves and Petey (Harte) was unlucky to hit the bar as well so we have things to work on. We stepped it up in the second half but we know that we can be much better next day out.”

That calmness under pressure enabled Tyrone to maintain a barrier, however slender at times, between them and a Roscommon side which chased the game from start to finish.

“We were two points up at the break and we knew that the second half was going to be intense and we looked to make a good start and I think that we managed to do that and thankfully we were able to push on.

“I think that it's always important to try and keep your opponent at arms length, if they get a score then try and match it whether with a goal or a point.

“We were against the breeze in the second half and I thought that we were very patient when we needed to be but also ruthless when we had to be and we are just delighted with the victory.”

With momentum on their side, Tyrone are in action again for a fifth successive weekend as they take on Cork at Croke Park on Saturday next.

“We have been playing week on week and getting a bit of momentum but on the downside of that recovery time in between games is limited.

“You look at Roscommon they have been able to recover well since winning the Connaught title but then they haven't been playing competitive games and that probably affected them here today as we were perhaps a little sharper than them.”

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