Tyrone 2-23 Westmeath 1-12

Updated: Sunday, 16 Mar 2014 16:44 | Comments

Tyrone's Shay McGuigan with Westmeath's John Gilligan
Tyrone's Shay McGuigan with Westmeath's John Gilligan

Tyrone got back on track with a 2-23 to 1-12 win over Westmeath in the Allianz Football League Division 1 at Healy Park.

The sides were level five times in the first half, but three Ciaran McGinley points helped Tyrone to a 0-10 to 0-9 interval lead, with Westmeath’s Denis Glennon also hitting three.

Ray Connellan smashed home a Westmeath goal, but Tyrone responded with a Ronan O’Neill goal before Sean Cavanagh wrapped up the points with a second goal four minutes from the end.

Tyrone lost full back Ronan McNamee with a knee injury after just five minutes, having already gone behind to a Denis Glennon point.

But they were ahead by the seventh minute, when Sean Cavanagh charged through to fire over a point.

Dessie Dolan collected Glennon’s pass to bring the Leinster men level again, but two Ciaran McGinley points in the space of a minute had the Red Hands ahead by 0-4 to 0-2 with 12 minutes played.

However, Paul Bealin’s men displayed passion and hunger and drew level midway through the half  with scores from Glennon and Kieran Martin, who finished with the fist following incisive build-up play from Kieran Gavin and Dessie Dolan.

The Cavanagh brothers then enjoyed a spell of dominance at midfield and four points in the space of five minutes saw them go three clear.

Goalkeeper Niall Morgan slotted over a ’45, Connor McAliskey split the posts and McGinley claimed his third for a 0-9 to 0-6 advantage.

But Westmeath swung the game back in their favour in the closing stages of the half with danger man Glennon adding another to his tally, and they were level when Callum McCormack landed a long range effort.

Tyrone did edge in front in stoppage time with a McAliskey free, leading by 0-10 to 0-9 at the break.

Tyrone then made an explosive start to the second half, with four points in as many minutes through Mark Donnelly, Morgan, Shay McGuigan and McAliskey to go five clear.

And they could have had a goal when Donnelly broke clear, but dragged his shot low and wide.

Committing extra men to the defensive effort, Tyrone squeezed the Westmeath attack out for long spells and attacked with purpose, adding further points through Kyle Coney, who thumped over a long range effort, McGinley and substitute Danny McBride to go seven clear.

But almost from nowhere, the Lakelanders stunned their opponents with a 49th minute goal, Dessie Dolan slipping the ball inside to substitute Ray Connellan, who smashed an unstoppable shot to the roof of the net.

Tyrone responded with another volley of scores though and put the result beyond doubt in the 55th minute when McAliskey sent substitute Ronan O’Neill clear and he picked his spot in the bottom corner for a delightful goal.

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-03, 2f, 1 ’45), A McCrory, R McNamee, R McKenna, C Clarke, Mattie Donnelly, P Harte, C Cavanagh (0-01), S Cavanagh (1-02), Ciaran McGinley (0-04), S McGuigan (0-01), C Grugan (0-01), K Coney (0-03, 1f), Mark Donnelly (0-02), C McAliskey (0-05, 2f).

Subs: D McBride (0-01) for McNamee (5), R O’Neill (1-00) for Grugan (H-T), P J Lavery for McGinley (60), P Hughes for McGuigan (60), K Gallagher for Mark Donnelly (60), D Carlin for Mattie Donnelly (65)

Westmeath: D Quinn, S Gilmore, K Gavin, K Maguire, J Dolan, J Gilligan, J Gonoud, D Duffy, P Sharry, D McCormack, G Egan (0-02, 2f), K Martin (0-01), C McCormack (0-01), D Dolan (0-02), D Glennon (0-05).

Subs: R Connellan (1-01) for D McCormack (h-t), Damien Dolan for Gilligan (46), J Egan for C McCormack (52), R Foley for SHarry (58), A Giles for Martin (59)

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry).

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