All-Ireland SFC qualifiers: Cavan 1-12 Tyrone 0-18
Tyrone are just one win away from a place in the Super 8s after a dominant win over Cavan at Brewster Park.
The Red Hands suppressed a stubborn second-half recovery by the Breffnimen to claim an 0-18 to 1-12 success.
Martin Reilly's goal inspired Cavan to draw level from five points adrift but Ronan O'Neill's four points off the bench eased Mickey Harte's men through.
Cavan contributed to an end-to-end second half but finished with 14 men after Ciaran Brady's second booking.
The build up to the game was disrupted by the decision to relocate from Croke Park to Enniskillen on Wednesday but Tyrone were unflustered by the change in venue as Mattie Donnelly burst forward from a withdrawn position to curl over a left-footed point against a back-pedalling Cavan defence with just 20 seconds on the clock.
Mickey Harte had made two changes to the team named during the week with goalkeeper Mickey O'Neill demonstrating why he was selected ahead of Niall Morgan with a superb kick-out that found Niall Sludden in space and Cavan were forced to concede a free that was confidently converted by Peter Harte.
Tiernan McCann, who replaced Cathal McCarron in the starting line-up, was also on the mark in the early stages as the Red Hands charged into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead in the opening 10 minutes.
But Cavan got back to level terms with three unanswered scores between the 12th and the 15th minutes.
Playing a lone role in attack, Beffni captain Dara McVeety managed to evade three markers to score with a steepling effort that just cleared the crossbar before Killian Clarke broke through a tackle to score and then Gearoid McKiernan finished off an excellent counter-attack for his opening point.
Frank Burns and McVeety exchanged points before Tyrone re-established scoreboard control as Cavan were held scoreless for the final 20 minutes of the opening half.
Cathal McShane and Tiernan McCann punished Cavan's inability to exit their own territory before McShane added his second point when he opted to fist over from a tight angle after Donnelly and Peter Harte had worked a goal chance.
Cavan midfielder Killian Clarke limped off before half-time as the Red Hands led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break.
Cavan purple patch
Connor McAliskey opened Tyrone's second-half account with a simple free but he should have found the back of the net just minutes later when he raced onto Richie Donnelly's clever pass but Killian Brady got back to complete a vital tackle just as the corner-forward was about to shoot.
Cavan responded with another scoring burst that brought them back to level terms.
McKiernan pointed a free to spark the recovery before Reilly's goal brought them back to within a point.
Tyrone's Conor Meyler lost possession and Cavan immediately countered with Conor Bradley's awkward shot drifting in on top of the square and Reilly came charging through to fist the ball into the net.
McKiernan won the next kick-out and powered forward to add another score to suddenly level the game.
Red Hand recovery
The momentum now appeared to be with Cavan in an end-to-end contest with scores by Sludden and Ronan O'Neill cancelled out by spectacular points from Oisin Kiernan, Sean Johnston and Conor Moynagh.
Tyrone spurned another goal chance when Burns saw his shot tipped over the bar and Ronan O'Neill quickly added another free to restore a two-point cushion.
Cavan began to wilt in the searing conditions and they could only muster two points in the closing minutes as their opponents controlled the tempo and possession during the five minutes of stoppage time.
The contest fizzled out in the end when Ciaran Brady was dismissed for a second yellow card following a tussle with Cathal McCarron.
Tyrone will now go into Monday's draw for the fourth round of the All-Ireland qualifiers when they will face one of the four beaten provincial finalists.
What they said
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte: "It's always a battle in these qualifiers, you're never sure how it's going to go and you don't know what way the team that you're playing is going to come and kick into life. In the first-half we wore them down, we got a decent lead of 0-9 to 0-5 and then getting the point at the start of the second half to go to double scores, I thought this job is fairly well under control here but we let it slip."
"This is a winner take all situation because you don't have any more chances, we gave up our second chance the day Monaghan beat us, so this is the last chance saloon and it's good to have players that can come through that and show they have the required steel to deal with tense situations."
Cavan manager Mattie McGleenan: "I'm absolutely proud of them boys. The effort that they gave was just fantastic and the game was still there at the death and that's all you can ask of any player."
"I'm proud of these guys. I've had a fabulous two years working with Cavan. I can't fault any of the young lads in this football team, they've given a serious shift. All year we're fighting against people telling us we've no chance and we're going to be beaten by x,y,z and they're bending reality every day they go out."
Cavan: J Farrelly; K Brady, C Moynagh (0-1), E Flanagan; C Brady (0-1), M Reilly (1-0), F Reilly; C Mackey, K Clarke (0-1); O Kiernan (0-1), G McKiernan (0-5), N Murray; C Bradley, D McVeety (0-2), S Johnston (0-1).
Subs: R Galligan, B Magee, D Brady, N Clerkin, A Cole, J Wharton, C O'Reilly, J McLoughlin, D Monahan, P Faulkner, S McCormack, S Murray, D Wharton.
Tyrone: M O'Neill; P Hamspey, R McNamee, T McCann (0-2); M McKernan, F Burns (0-2), P Harte (0-1); C Cavanagh, D McClure; M Donnelly (0-2), N Sludden (0-3); C Meyler, C McShane(0-2), R Donnelly (0-1), C McAliskey (0-1).
Subs: N Morgan, R Brennan, M Cassidy, H Loughran, C McCann, C McCarron, A McCrory, HP McGeary, K McGeary, P McNulty, R O'Neill (0-4).
|All-Ireland football qualifiers third round - Saturday 30 June|