Tyrone scored a much anticipated Round 2 win over Longford at Pearse Park, their superiority over Division Three opponents more convincing than the score-line suggests.
Cathal McShane gave the Red Hands almost total control with two first half goals, and they were never in any danger of losing this one, with the home side hitting 1-3 in the dying moments.
Nine Peter Harte points launched Mickey Harte's side into what could be another careering run along the back door route, but his game was ended early by a black card, for the second successive game.
In front of a crowd of 4,162, Tyrone gave Longford all the respect they could muster, dropping all 15 players back inside their own ’45 to stifle a patient build-up built around Barry McKeon and Mickey Quinn.
The Leinster men had gone in front after just a minute through Daniel Mimnagh, with Michael Cassidy responding for the visitors.
Peter Harte, with a slight wind in his back, drove a 45 metre free between the posts, and in the ninth minute, the Red Hands were gifted a goal.
Niall Sludden picked up Paddy Collum’s poor kick-out, and it was McShane whose shot was blocked by Barry O’Farrell, but the full forward finished the rebound to the net.
McShane, marked closely by Padraig McCormack, with sweeper Gary Rogers cutting off as many supply lines as possible, popped over a point, and in the 17th minute, punched home his second goal from Cassidy’s searching delivery.
A couple of David McGivney frees relieved the pressure, but only briefly, for the Red Hands, putting immense pressure on Collum’s kick-outs, continued to press.
Harte and Hugh Pat McGeary added points, and as Longford opted for a direct game, goalkeeper Niall Morgan maintained command of his area, coming off his line to confidently claim a couple of dropping balls.
McShane, now shadowed by Patrick Fox, brought his tally to 2-2, bringing his side to the interval with a commanding 2-7 to0-5 lead.
Just when they appeared to be poised to press home the advantage, Tyrone became sloppy, missing clear-cut scoring chacnes, with a third goal missed as McShane’s cross to the far post was too high for sub Ben McDonnell.
Longford narrowed the gap through Colm P Smyth and McGivney, but Harte rediscovered the range to pick off four more scores at the other end.
Wing backs Frank Burns and Cassidy were driving forces with their thrusting runs from deep, keeping Tyroen ont eh attack, and with Longford coughing up free kicks, Harte was unerring off his left foot.
Colm P Smyth fired over a couple of eye-catching Longford points, but they didn’t have the penetration to break Tyrone’s defensive formation.
Wing backs Frank Burns and Cassidy were driving forces with their thrusting runs from deep, keeping Tyrone on the attack, and with Longford coughing up free kicks, Harte was unerring off his left foot.
Colm P Smyth fired over a couple of eye-catching Longford points, but ten points separated the sides at the end of the 70 minutes, before Tyrone allowed their guard to slip late on, the home side hitting 1-3 in stoppage time, including a goal from substitute Iarla O’Sullivan.
Longford: P Collum; P Fox, D McElligot, B O’Farrell; M Quinn (0-02), P McCormack, D Quinn; J Keegan, D McGivney (0-04, 4f); G Rogers, B McKeon (0-02, 1f), C Smyth (0-03); D Mimnagh (0-01), J McGivney, J Hagan (0-01).
Subs: A McElligot for Rogers (42), D Doherty for O’Farrell (54), A Farrell for Keegan (56), M Hughes for J McGivney (67), S Kenny (0-01) for Mimnagh (67), I O’Sullivan (1-00) for Hagan (71)
Tyrone: N Morgan; HP McGeary (0-01), R McNamee, M McKernan; M Cassidy (0-01), K McGeary, F Burns; C Cavanagh, B Kennedy; D McClure, N Sludden, P Harte (0-09, 7f); D McCurry, C McShane (2-02), M Donnelly.
Subs: B McDonnell (0-02) for Kennedy (h-t), C Meyler for K McGeary (h-t), R Brennan for McKernan (42), K Coney for McClure (54), C McAliskey for McCurry (54), C McCann for Sludden (64)
Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary)