The opening senior football game of the Memorial weekend card wasn’t decided until well into the second half. Armagh actually had the lead at the break, but a sending off in the fourth minute of the second half changed the complexion of the Armagh side.
When the final 10 minutes arrived the numerical advantage worked for Tyrone and they had five of the final six points for the win.
Tyrone opened the game with a brace of points in the first seven minutes from Niall Farrell and Donal Hartnett, but they were cancelled out by a trifecta from Armagh.
Normal keeper Alan Hearty was at full forward, and he assumed the free kicking for the day with very good results.
After a delightful chipped point by Paul Cahill for Tyrone Armagh went two ahead thanks to Kevin McGeeney, with a brilliant score from wide on the left, and a Hearty point from play. Hearty’s was the result of good work by Caolan Short and James Moynagh before he executed.
Both sides were guilty of wides in the medal period of the first half before Tyrone got back on terms with scores from Hartnett when Tyrone won a short Armagh kickout, and Conor Skeffington, a towering score with two minutes left in the first half.
Armagh again went ahead before the break when Hearty, with his third of the half, punished an illegal hand pass with a free for a 0-6 to 0-5 lead.
Within four minutes of the restart, Caolan Short excited the field for a hard knock on Brendan McGourty. He received a straight red for his troubles and Armagh was down to 14.
Seamus Skeffington had Tyrone level for the third time on the day with a beauty of a score when he soloed up the right wing. Ciaran Conlon cancelled that with a fine point a minute later, but it was followed by an excellent Tyrone goal.
Armagh could have got a free at the offensive end when Conlon was apprehended. They didn’t, and Tyrone worked the ball out the field at pace.
A long pass was sent in the direction of sub Paddy Maguire. He flicked on to Cahill, and the former Tipperary senior fired the ball to the net.
Armagh did react in the best way possible to the seemed injustice with three points in succession. All came from Hearty, and his side was in front 0-10 to 1-6.
It was a last hurrah as Tyrone took over in the last seven minutes. They had for of the last six points, with Aiden Power grabbing two as he helped out the attack, while Shane Ryan also contributed two.
It was enough to secure the vital victory and put them at four points on the leader board.
Tyrone had very good displays from Aiden Power, Joe Bell and Brendan McGourty at the back.
Declan Garvey and Conor McNabb broke even in the middle which was a positive, while five of the six forwards scored with Paul Cahill looking very promising.
Armagh had a man sent off for the second week, and the discipline problem hurt them again.
Surprised to not see Donal Hearty in goal when Alan was out the field. He is a brilliant keeper, which shows you the regard in which McKinelly must be held.
Caolan Short was showing very well before his card, Patsy Martin did nothing wrong, Kevin McGeeney was the best of the Armagh midfielders while James Moynagh, Alan Hearty who was excellent and Ciaran Conlon were the most prominent of the forwards.
Tyrone: 1 Barry McElduff, 2 Paul Mulhern, 3 Aiden Power (0-2), 4 Joe Bell, 5 Steve Keating, 6 Brendan McGourty, 7 Seamus Skeffington (0-1), 8 Declan Garvey, 9 Conor McNabb, 10 Michael Sloan, 11 Shane Ryan (0-2), 12 Niall Farrell (0-1), 13 Paul Cahill (1-2), 14 Conor Skeffington (0-1), 15 Donal Hartnett (0-2). Subs: Paddy McGuire, Ryan Canavan, Michael Gallagher.
Armagh: 1 Ryan McKinelly, 2 Eoghan McPartland, 3 Patsy Martin, 4 Ramie Keane, 5 Stewart Stokes, 6 Karl McVerry, 7 Caolan Short (0-1), 8 Kevin McGeeney (0-1), 9 James Donnelly, 10 James Moynagh (0-1), 11 Seamus Toner (0-1), 12 Aiden Morton, 13 Richie Morgan, 14 Alan Hearty (0-6), 15 Ciaran Conlon (0-1). Subs: Collie Fearan.
Man of the match: Paul Cahill (Tyrone).
Referee: Martin O’Connor.