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Tyrone used a late second half surge to get the win against a Cork side that would have felt they did enough. Donal Hartnett, or Dodo as he is affectionately known, was the man of the moment with four of the last five Tyrone scores. It gives Tyrone their third win in the early season and ranks them as a major contender for honors at the end of summer.
Cork had the opening score when Sean Purcell fired over from play after good work by midfielder Rory Stafford. Tyrone equalized minutes later when their midfielder Conor McNabb picked out Seamus Skeffington, who shot over.
There was a long period of no scoring, with both teams guilty of misses and also poor play as they battled to try and get a hold on the game. The rebels were able to grab the next score when Jason Kelly had a tremendous point at the end of a long solo run.
Kelly, who is making a major push for player of the year honors in New York, followed with another long solo run before he was pulled down for a 20 yard free. Vincie Lehane had the easy task of tapping over.
They had a superb opportunity of adding to their total when they had a glaring goal chance shortly after. Brian Kelleher failed to grab the score, however, after again Stafford was involved in the lead up.
Tyrone started to come back into the contest and were also guilty of a goal miss themselves when Darren O’Mahony in the Cork net made an excellent stop from Cathal Skeffington.
Cork continued to push their lead out when Kelly set up Lehane for another point, and Johnny O’Sullivan had a further Cork score to push the side into a substantial lead is it half wound down.
Tyrone dominated the last seven minutes on the score board with three points to bring them back into the contest. Shane Ryan, Paddy McGuire and Cathal Skeffington were the marksmen, but Adam Fitzgerald and Paul Cathal did most of the spade work with superb play in the full forward line that left Tyrone behind by the minimum as the short whistle arrived.
Cork added to their lead as the second half opened with four of the first five scores. The huge difference in this contest, however, was the magnitude of the scores.
Tyrone’s turned out to be a goal that Cork will want to forget. Ryan had soloed down the wing with seemingly no danger apparent for Cork His long speculative ball dropped into Cork goalkeeper Darren O’Mahony, and that’s where everything went awry. The keeper allowed the ball to find its way through his hands to the net and give Tyrone tremendous hope.
Cork did add two points from Lehane, who was proving to be a major thorn throughout the hour, but Tyrone was given a tremendous opportunity to again come back into the game when they were awarded a penalty. Mickey Sloan was denied, however, when his rasping shop was saved by a redeeming O’Mahony.
Cork should have used this to set up the victory, and they did have the next two points, but Tyrone dug deep and responded with the Dodo show in the final 10 minutes.
He had a point from play and a free with Sloan also grabbing a minor to pull the side within one. Hartnett equalized with five minutes on the clock when he again picked up a break, soloed forward and with a trusty left leg placed the ball over the bar.
Cork was now at sixes and sevens, and a further Hartnett free completed the scoring and the improbable victory.
Cork: 1 Darren O’Mahony, 2 Paddy Harrington, 3 Liam Hanley, 4 Sean McNamee, 5 Derek Courtney, 6 John McLoughlin, 7 John Fitzpatrick, 8 Rory Stafford, 9 Gary Lowney, 10 Sean Purcell, 11 Jason Kelly, 12 Francie Cleary, 13 Vincent Lehane, 14 Brendan O’Sullivan, 15. Brian Kelleher.
Tyrone: 1 Derek Corrigan, 2 Paul Mulhern, 3 Aidan Power, 4 Joe Bell, 5 Steve Keating, 6 Brendan McGourty, 7 Declan Garvey, 8 Conor McNabb, 9 Jason Killeen, 10 Seamus Skeffington, 11 Cathal Skeffington, 12. Mickey Sloan, 13 Paul Cahill, 14 Shane Ryan, 15 Adam Fitzgerald.
Man of the match: Brendan McGourty.