Declan Bogue reports from the Athletic Grounds
A DARK DAY for Antrim football, but nobody would have expected anything else in the lead in to this most facile of games, one that banishes forever the hoary notion that every team is vulnerable in the Ulster Championship.
Such was the ease of this win for Mickey Harte’s men, 1-16 to 0-5 up at half-time, that it stands as the ultimate example for those arguing in favour of tiered Championships in Gaelic football.
This was a ‘home’ game for Antrim who had to play it at The Athletic Grounds, but given the ridiculous attendance of 5,409, it might have been played in a venue such as Dunloy.
Tyrone shot a series of wides in the opening quarter but when they opened up they were simply sensational in moving the ball through the foot to target-man Cathal McShane.
They found themselves 0-8 to 0-2 up after 22 minutes, four of the first five coming directly from long kick passes into McShane.
Antrim’s Patrick McCormick dejected at the final whistle at the Athletic Grounds.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
A goal arrived in due course when Peter Harte drove straight through the Antrim defence without a finger being laid on him, dishing off to Tiernan McCann who slammed to the net.
Antrim grabbed two goals themselves in the second half and Paddy McBride tried manfully throughout, but they simply hadn’t the physical power, nor the experience to cope with last year’s All-Ireland finalists.
A final goal arrived from substitute Connor McAliskey who threatened to take the net off its’ rigging as the game wound down. They now face the winner of Fermanagh and Donegal in the Ulster semi-final.
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Scorers for Tyrone: C McShane 0-6, 4f, R Donnelly 0-3, M Donnelly 0-3, T McCann 1-0, C McAliskey 1-2, 1f, N Morgan 0-1, 1x ’45′, R McNamee, R Brennan, M Cassidy, N Sludden, F Burns, K Coney, D McCurry 0-1 each, P Harte 0-1f
Scorers for Antrim: R Murray 0-6, 5f, M Fitzpatrick, P McCormick 1-0 each, P McBride 0-2f, J McAuley 0-1
1. Niall Morgan (Edendork)
2. Hugh Pat McGeary (Pomeroy)
3. Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran)
17. Rory Brennan (Trillick)
5. Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher)
6. Padraig Hampsey (Coalisland)
7. Michael Cassidy (Ardboe)
8. Colm Cavanagh (Moy)
9. Ben McDonnell (Errigal Ciaran)
of the team
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10. Matthew Donnelly (Trillick)
11. Niall Sludden (Dromore)
12. Frank Burns (Pomeroy)
13. Cathal McShane (Owen Roe’s)
14. Peter Harte (Errigal Ciaran)
15. Richard Donnelly (Trillick)
19. Conan Grugan for McDonnell (BC)
23. Aidan McCrory for Hampsey (HT)
18. Kyle Coney for M Donnelly (42)
20. Connor McAliskey for Harte (42)
24. Darren McCurry for McShane (42)
21. Conall McCann for Sludden (54)
1. Padraig Nugent (St John’s)
2. Patrick McCormick (Moneyglass)
3. Ricky Johnston (Creggan)
4. Patrick Gallagher (Glenavy)
5. Paddy McBride (St John’s)
6. Declan Lynch (Lamh Dhearg)
7. Niall Delargy (Portglenone)
8. Colum Duffin (Moneyglass)
9. Stephen Beatty (O’Donovan Rossa)
10. James McAuley (St Enda’s)
11. Matthew Fitzpatrick (St John’s)
12. Kevin Quinn (Lamh Dhearg)
13. Ryan Murray (Lamh Dhearg)
14. James Smith (St Brigid’s)
15. Odhran Eastwood (St Enda’s)
25. Ryan McNulty for Smith (HT)
19. Eunan Walsh for Eastwood (45)
23. Ruairi Scott for Quinn (52)
17. Michael McCarry for Beatty (55)
21. Jay Mallon for McAuley (63)
22. Conor Mallon for Walsh (73)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)
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