Aiden Walsh and Mickey Lenehen the heroes in Cork battle against Tyrone
Cork 1-15 Tyrone 1-11
Cork used excellent performances from midfielder Aiden Walsh and forward Mickey Lenehan to get the points in a dogged battle at the Mecca.
With an Irish referee in charge the players were shown a different approach to the rules, and they were not always in agreement. Both sides lost players to red cards, and the open space that was created was beneficial to Cork in the late stages.
They ran off five of the last six scores of the game to pull away. The goal came on a defensive miscue.
The game opened with a flood of scores, four in the first four minutes. Alan Rafferty started with a point and Mickey Lenihan followed it with one.
Tyrone replied with a Shane McGuigan free and a brilliant Ciaran Campbell goal. The seats were still being filled.
Cork had four consecutive points to put daylight between the sides, with David Quinn chipping over when off balance as the best of the bunch.
Tyrone responded with points at the other end, but the game was to have a marked influence by the ref as the half came to a close.
Aiden Power was booked for what appeared to be dissent to ref, and within five minutes he had his second and a red for what again appeared to be the same crime.
It wasn’t finished. Cork had a claim for a free inside the Tyrone 21 that was not called with a minute left in the half. In the aftermath a small incident occurred, and Tom Hardwick was given a red for what might have been a yellow card offense.
The game was level now with 14 a side and 1-4 and 0-7 on the board.
Tyrone added to their total with points from Farrell and McGuigan in the opening moments of the second half. They also had a McGuigan shot come back off the crossbar in the third minute to the waiting relieved hands of Denis McCarthy.
Cork attacked in the aftermath, and they had three shots on net. Eoin Dillon shot straight at Corrigan before Conor McNabb stopped a drive from Gerard McCarthy and then pushed the rebound effort from Lenehan over the lathe.
They did get points from Jason Kelly, the first on the run, the second when he was set free by McCarthy. His shot went over off the bar. They canceled out two Tyrone scores, the second of which was a lovely McGuigan point.
With 15 minutes left Tyrone was still hanging on to a one point advantage 1-8 to 0-10. The sides swapped points from frees before Cork started to make their move.
Walsh started it with a point from the right wing before Kelly with a wonderful drive lofted a free over the lathe from wide on the left.
After a McGuigan point at the other end Cork added two further scores, another Walsh point and a Lenehan free after Quinn was fouled.
On the resulting kickout Quinn intercepted the low drive, and he set up Lenehan for the easy tap in goal. McGuigan had a free at the buzzer, but his blast for goal was easily deflected over.
Cork now lead the table with six points and should have done enough for a playoff spot. Denis McCarthy, Rory Stafford and Eoin Dillon all had bright contributions at the back.
Alan Rafferty complemented the excellent Aiden Walsh in the middle. Their dominance paved the way for the win. Mickey Lenehan was outstanding, Dave Quinn showed promise, while Gerard McCarthy was very unlucky to be taken off. Jason Kelly was very good off the bench.
For Tyrone, Damien Corrigan earned his pay in this one with the help of Conor McNabb. Joe Bell, Ger McCullough and Niall Donnelly all had moments. Shane McGuigan was excellent in shooting; the ball didn’t get there enough, however. David Morgan caused problems off the bench, while Niall Farrell also had important contributions.
Cork: 1 Darren O’Mahoney, 2 Denis McCarthy, 3 Gary Hanley, 4 Paddy Harrington, 5 Sean McNamee, 6 Rory Stafford, 7 Eoin Dillon, 8 Alan Rafferty (0-1), 9 Aiden Walsh (0-2), 10 Francie Cleary, 11 Eoin McHugh, 12 Mickey Lenihan (1-6), 13 Gerard McCarthy (0-1), 14 Tom Hardwick (0-1), 15 David Quinn (0-1). Subs: Jason Kelly (0-3), Bryan Argue, Peter Hatzer.
Tyrone: 1 Damien Corrigan, 2 Joe Bell, 3 Ger McCullough, 4 Mickey Gallagher, 5 Ciaran Quelly, 6 Aiden Power, 7 Niall Maguire, 8 Conor McNabb, 9 Niall Donnelly, 10 Darren Doherty, 11 Shane McGuigan (0-7), 12 Adam Fitzgerald, 13 Ciaran Campbell (1-0), 14 Paddy Maguire, 15 Niall Farrell (0-3). Subs: David Morgan (0-1).
Man of the match: Aiden Walsh (Cork).
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