Division Two Football League Final: Red Hands too strong for Cavan

Mickey Harte happy as Tyrone beat Cavan in Football League Division Two final

Tyrone's smooth running game and greater accuracy helped them earn a deserved 1-17 to 0-15 win over Cavan in the Division Two Football League final.

The sides exchanged some fine scores in a free-flowing first half before Tyrone moved 0-11 to 0-8 ahead by the break.

Fine work by the impressive Connor McAliskey and Mattie Donnelly set up Ronan O'Neill's 49th-minute goal which left Tyrone 1-13 to 0-10 ahead.

Donnelly was dismissed late on after a black card but Tyrone had done enough.

Cavan had looked capable of extending the Red Hands after clinching promotion to Division One following a run of five straight wins.

But while the Breffnimen started well, Tyrone's greater composure and accuracy soon started to wear down Terry Hyland's side.

Tyrone defender Cathal McCarron battles with Cavan's Seanie Johnston at Croke Park
Cathal McCarron won his duel with Seanie Johnston before having to hobble off late on

McCarron marks Johnston out of contest

Cathal McCarron produced a fine display as he marked Seanie Johnston out of the contest with the former Kildare player substituted shortly after half-time.

Man of the match Tiernan McCann and McAliskey were among several other Tyrone players to impress in a strong-running display.

Gearoid McKiernan battled manfully for Cavan and kicked a number of fine points but apart from Martin Reilly's first-half efforts, didn't receive enough support in the Breffni attack.

Both sides looked sharp early on as the lead was swapped on several occasions before points from McAliskey and McCann left Tyrone 0-5 to 0-3 ahead in the 15th minute.

Cavan were on terms within four minutes after points from Liam Buchanan and Michael Argue but Tyrone began to gain an edge during the remainder of the opening period as they outscored the Breffnimen 0-6 to 0-2.

Ronan O'Neill celebrates after scoring his 49th-minute goal at Croke Park
Ronan O'Neill's goal put the Division Two final to bed at Croke Park

Goal follows harsh Buchanan black card

Terry Hyland's side twice cut the margin to two points after the resumption but they then endured a damaging three minutes as Liam Buchanan's harsh black card was quickly followed by O'Neill's crucial goal.

Buchanan did upend Justin McMahon with a late challenge but his exclusion from the remainder of the contest looked highly debatable.

With Cavan looking somewhat disorganised after Buchanan's departure, a superb McAlister pass released Donnelly who in turn set up O'Neill to hammer past Raymond Galligan.

Cavan responded with three unanswered scores to leave a kick of the ball between the sides again by the 53rd minute but Tyrone quickly regained control and McAliskey was close to notching a second Red Hands goal as he volleyed over the crossbar, when a catch and kick probably represented a better option.

Tyrone were the better team in Division Two final says Cavan boss Terry Hyland

Donnelly's dismissal after a black card followed his earlier yellow card came too late to change the outcome.

Sean Cavanagh's closing Tyrone point was probably the score of the day as Mickey Harte was able to take the opportunity to give several of his substitutes a late run.

However, a concern for Tyrone was an apparent leg injury picked up by McCarron in the closing stages which forced him to hobble off.

Dubs clinch fourth straight league title

Dublin emphasised their continuing status as the best team in gaelic football as they clinched a fourth straight league title with a 2-18 to 0-13 win over Kerry.

The Dubs led only 0-10 to 0-8 after a tight first half and there was still only two points in it with nine minutes left before late goals from Paul Flynn and Eric Lowndes sealed victory for Jim Gavin's side.

After Aidan O'Mahony's 51st-minute dismissal following an incident which left Dublin's Jonny Coooper on the ground, Flynn hit the opening goal on 67 as he pounced on an attempted short kick-out by Kerry keeper Brendan Kealy.

Lowndes hammered in Dublin's second goal in injury-time after being set up by Bernard Brogan.

Dublin's win completed third 100% winning record in this year's league as they clinched a ninth successive victory.

Tyrone: M O'Neill, A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron, R Brennan (0-1), J McMahon T McCann (0-1), C Cavanagh, M Donnelly (0-2), N Sludden, M Bradley (0-1), P Harte (0-1), C McAliskey (0-5), S Cavanagh (0-3), R O'Neill (1-3). Subs: C Meyler for Sludden, B Tierney for McMahon, R Donnelly for Bradley, L Brennan for O'Neill, K McGeary for McAliskey, F Burns for McCarron.

Cavan: R Galligan; P Faulkner, K Clarke, J McLoughlin; C Brady, C Moynagh, K Brady; T Corr, L Buchanan; D McVeety, G McKiernan, M Reilly; D Givney, M Argue, S Johnston. Subs: N Murray for K Brady, E Keating (0-1) for Johnston, C Mackey for Buchanan (black card), R Dunne for Argue, F Flanagan for Brady, J Brady for Moynagh.

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