GAA Football

Woeful Tyrone well-beaten by dominant Dublin in Healy Park

Tyrone captain Padraig Hampsey, shown here against Monaghan, was sent off early in the second half of a chastening home defeat by Dublin. Picture Seamus Loughran

Allianz Division One, round five: Tyrone 0-8 Dublin 0-13

WHAT can you say after that?!

Not a lot, very little positive or printable from a Tyrone perspective anyway, although Dublin were quite rightly quietly delighted with their display.

Even had there not been this media ban inspired by the Gaelic Players Association the Tyrone management might have been lost for words after this defeat.

Rather than the anticipated ding-dong battle between two teams fighting against relegation, this was a stroll in the sunshine for the previously pointless Dubs, who eased to an embarrassingly easy triumph.

The only fireworks were literal ones, off the pitch, from the Dublin fans in the Gortin Road end, celebrating victory before the game entered the final quarter.

It was effectively over long before that, with the Dubs having racked up a nine-point interval advantage, 0-11 to 0-2, thanks to 10 scores in a row after Tyrone had opened the scoring.

The visitors did have the benefit of the breeze before the break but their talent absolutely blew the reigning All-Ireland champions away, albeit that Tyrone were as terrible as Dublin were terrific.

The home side seemed set to be boosted by the return to action for the first time this season of former Allstar full-back Ronan McNamee, with Padraig Hampsey moving into midfield in place of current Allstar Brian Kennedy.

Yet the Tyrone captain had a day to forget - first black-carded for a needless foul on Tom Lahiff, then getting himself sent off early in the second period after being shown a yellow card for pushing Cormac Costello over the advertising hoardings.

As so often, Ciaran Kilkenny concentrated not on pushing but on pulling the strings for Dublin, although he did score two early points before dropping deeper to direct operations.

Peter Harte had returned to the Tyrone team after the defeat in Donegal, but could not contain the Castleknock man, while Cathal McShane was also handed a start instead of the injured Paudie McNulty but made little impact at full-forward.

Tyrone did begin fairly well, with some decent kick-passes towards corner-forwards Darren McCurry and Canavan, but that was as good as it got.

The Dubs brought in wing-back Robbie McDaid, and Costello at corner-forward, for Lee Gannon and Ross McGarry, and both of those showed up well, although everyone in blue was very good.

Dublin looked back to their old selves, the dominant force of the previous decade, while Tyrone also appeared to have gone backwards, but not in a good way.

The starting Red Hand side managed a solitary point from play, through Niall Sludden, and that took until the 50th minute to arrive.

Substitute Richie Donnelly did kick two scores, while Conor McKenna also made a positive impression off the bench. Yet among the 15 who lined out for the hosts, only Conn Kilpatrick and Darragh Canavan did themselves any justice.

Kilpatrick might even have sparked an unlikely Red Hand revival just before half-time when he collected a dropping ball and coolly fired it to the net - but the 'goal' was correctly disallowed by referee Barry Cassidy for a needless barge on Dublin goalkeeper Evan Comerford by Frank Burns, as the Ballymun man parried a looping McKenna effort.

Ironically, that was one of the few physical challenges put in by a Tyrone man in that first half, with Dublin first to almost every loose ball, snapping into tackles, tracking back before roaring forward.

After falling behind to an early McShane free the Dubs took complete control of the game, reeling off an astonishing 10 consecutive scores, all of them from play, all without reply.

They were helped by Hampsey, who had to spend 10 minutes in the sin-bin after clattering into Lahiff, Dublin adding five scores with the extra man.

The visitors should have grabbed a goal too, after a short Tyrone kick-out malfunction, but the advanced Jonny Cooper tried and failed to gather the ball, although Costello still snapped up a point.

Five of their starting forwards were on the scoresheet before the half-hour mark - and the only one who didn't register, Brian Howard, had a brilliant match.

Tyrone ended a 28-minute scoring drought with a McCurry free but were fortunate that the raiding McDaid's dipping drive then went over rather than under the bar.

Even with the wind Tyrone had the proverbial mountain to climb. When Hampsey earned his red card they were trying to do so in their sock soles.

Impressively, they did cut into Dublin's lead, and Canavan perhaps might even have forced a goal, but the boys in blue were never in any serious trouble.

Even after Niall Scully was black-carded in the 55th minute they made light of that, with first Dean Rock then Sean Bugler fisting scores.

Back to their full complement, John Small couldn't connect sufficiently to finish off a flowing hand-passing move late on, and with Dubs queueing up to score in added time substitute Ryan Basquel shot short.

However, although they remain bottom of the division, Dublin will go into their final two games, against Donegal then Monaghan, with renewed belief.

Tyrone, now only above the other relegation slot because of their sole win over Kildare, must doubt their ability to stay up after this pretty poor performance. The top two await, Mayo then Kerry; Division Two beckons unless there's massive improvement…

Tyrone: N Morgan; M McKernan, P Hampsey (capt.), F Burns; C Meyler, J Munroe, P Harte; C Kilpatrick, B Kennedy; N Donnelly, N Sludden (0-1), K McGeary; D McCurry (0-3 frees), C McShane (0-2 frees), D Canavan.

Substitutes: C McKenna for N Donnelly (34); R Donnelly (0-2) for Munroe (h-t); M Conroy for McGeary (h-t); L Rafferty for Sludden (59); P Donaghy for McShane (68).

Black card: Hampsey (16-26)

Red card: Hampsey (39 - yellow card after earlier black).

Dublin: E Comerford; M Fitzsimons, D Byrne, S McMahon; J Small, J Cooper, R McDaid (0-1); B Fenton (0-1), T Lahiff (0-1); B Howard, S Bugler (0-2), N Scully (0-1); C Costello (0-2), C Kilkenny (0-2), D Rock (0-3).

Substitutes: E Murchan for Cooper (49); J McCarthy for Lahiff (52); R Basquel for Costello (65); S Clayton for McDaid (70); L O'Dell for Bugler (73).

Black card: Scully (55-65).

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).

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