Roscommon 0-13 Tyrone 0-17: Red Hands shake off Rossies' challenge
Last Updated: 13/07/19 9:01pm
Tyrone are off to a winning start in the Super 8s, after defeating Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park, 0-17 to 0-13.
When the two sides met in the Super 8s opener last summer, it was all one-way traffic as the Red Hands ran out 18-point winners. However, Roscommon's 2019 form made it clear that it wasn't going to be so straightforward for the visitors.
Beating Mayo and Galway en route to a provincial title, the Connacht side clearly had found a new edge under Anthony Cunningham.
Roscommon enjoyed long periods in the ascendancy in the first half, but crucially struggled to make it count on the scoreboard. Conor Cox and Diarmuid Murtagh spurned opportunities, while Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan denied Cathal Cregg and Enda Smith.
Up the other end, the Red Hands were far more economical. Cathal McShane was accurate from frees, while Niall Sludden was lively - sending the umpires for the white flag on three occasions before the break.
Ultimately, Mickey Harte's charges went in at the break with a two-point cushion, but knew they were in a real contest as the Connacht champions were cheered off.
The Rossies meant business right from the second half throw-in. Murtagh pointed within seconds, and there was a real buzz around Dr Hyde Park.
In the 47th minute, Tadhg O'Rourke kicked an eye-catching score, and belief grew amongst the home support.
However, from there Tyrone took control. Mattie Donnelly pulled the strings as Cathal McShane and Peter Harte picked their points with ease.
The Tyrone efficiency was too much for the Connacht champions. Roscommon pushed up in search of scores, but the Ulster side had done their homework and kept Conor Cox and co under wraps.
Super 8s: Group 2 table
Ultimately, they ran out four-point winners, as focus turns to next weekend's double-header at Croke Park. Tyrone will face Cork, while Roscommon will take on All-Ireland champions Dublin. Both games will be live and exclusive on Sky Sports.