Tyrone 0-19 Cavan 1-09

Tyrone went top of the Allianz League Division 1 table with a 0-19 to 1-09 win over Cavan at Healy Park.

With seven points from four outings, the unbeaten Red Hands came from behind to comfortably take the points and plunge their Ulster rivals deeper into relegation trouble.

Gearoid McKieranan’s 1-04 and three Martin Reilly points helped Cavan to a 1-08 to 0-07 interval lead, with Sean Cavanagh and Peter Harte sharing five Tyrone frees.

But the Red Hands dominated the second half, with the Breffni men managing just one point in the second half.

Cavan swamped their defence with extra bodies, and hit the home side on the breakaway to nail early scores through McKiernan and Dara McVeety.

But once Tyrone began to run hard at their opponents, they began to cough up frees, with Sean Cavanagh slotting over a couple from the 20 metre line to bring them level.

Midfielder Padraig McNulty drove through for the lead point on 13 minutes, but Cavan went back on the attack, and after McKieranan had converted his second free, wing-back Martin Reilly sent over a superb long-range effort.

Tyrone committed extra players to the offensive effort, with Padraig Hampsey, Aidan McCrory and McCann pushing deep into opposition territory, and they won further frees which Peter Harte converted.

Reilly took matters into his own hands, firing over three points from play for Cavan, two of them spectacular efforts from distance.

When McKiernan swung over his fourth, the Breffni men seized back the lead in a contest that had been level on six occasions.

A minute before the break they struck for a goal. Rare slackness at the back gave McVeety the chance to slip the ball to Conor Madden and his flick found the inrushing McKiernan, who palmed the ball past Niall Morgan for a 1-08 to 0-07 interval lead.

But the Red Hands, now with wind advantage, started the second half strongly.

Both Cavanagh and Kieran McGeary were on target to narrow the gap.

They crafted a goal chance through Mattie Donnelly and Darren McCurry, but Cavanagh’s shot lacked power, and was easily dealt with by McKiernan.

However, Tyrone were now dominant, and outscored their opponents by seven points to one in the third quarter as they forged ahead.

Adapting a more direct approach, they swept forward from the back and targeted Donnelly and Cavanagh with long balls.

But it was the arrival of Mark Bradley off the bench that really got the Red Hand machine purring.

He shot three eye-catching points, and despite the loss of defender Ronan McNamee and attacker Darren McCurry to black cards, there was no stopping the Tyrone men.

Goalkeeper Niall Morgan thumped a 50 metre free between the posts, and another sub, Ronan O’Neill, claimed a couple of late points as they romped to a seven-point success.

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-01, f); P Hampsey, J McMahon, C McCarron; T McCann (0-01), R Brennan, A McCrory; C Cavanagh (0-01), P McNulty (0-01); C Meyler, K McGeary (0-01), P Harte (0-04, 4f); D McCurry (0-01), S Cavanagh (0-03, 3f), M Donnelly (0-01)

Subs: R McNamee for Brennan (h-t), M Bradley (0-03) for McNulty (44), J Munroe for McNamee (BC 45), F Burns for McMahon (50), R O’Neill (0-02) for McCurry (BC 52)

Cavan: R Galligan; R Dunne, K Brady, J McLoughlin; C Brady, C Moynagh, M Reilly (0-03); T Corr, G McKiernan (1-04, 0-2f); G Smith, D McVeety (0-01), N Clerkin; N Murray, C Madden (0-01), P O’Connor

Subs: C Mackey for Clerkin (h-t), S Murray for N Murray (h-t), F Reilly for McLoughlin (49), G McCutcheon for Clerkin (55)

Referee: D Gough (Meath)