Diarmuid Connolly black-carded as Dublin see off Tyrone challenge
TYRONE 0-13, DUBLIN 1-16
A place in the All-Ireland semi finals was already assured but Dublin went right on ahead and took another championship scalp at Healy Park.
The reigning All-Ireland champions welcomed back Diarmuid Connolly to their side while Sean Bugler and Cormac Costello impressed and the Dublin bench added some gloss to the final scoreboard.
Much of the excitement on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in Omagh revolved around murmurs of late changes in the Dublin starting 15. As it transpired, Jim Gavin made six changes, including the re-introduction of Connolly (below) to the half forward line and Evan Comerford replacing Stephen Cluxton in goal.
Paddy Small and Sean Bugler were also drafted into the starting line-up and, along with Cormac Costello, they added some verve to Dublin's attack. Costello was pinging over frees from across Healy Park while Bugler and Small both popped up with a pair of nice scores, apiece, in the first half.
Down the other end, Dublin were struggling with high balls kicked in diagonally and Conor McAliskey was denied a goal after Comerford smothered his shot. HALF-TIME: Tyrone 0-5, Dublin 0-8.
Both sides traded three points each in the opening eight minutes of the second half before Conall McCann was denied by the crossbar after dinking one over the advancing Comerford:
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 4, 2019
Bernard Brogan, Philly McMahon, Eoghan O'Gara and Michael Darragh MacAuley were brought into the fray as Dublin attempted to burn off their hosts and there were a couple of well-taken scores, from play, courtesy of Costello and Bugler.
Then, on 55 minutes, arrived the moment that brought most joy to the travelling Dublin support. Connolly took possession of the ball about 30 yards from Gallen's goal and traded passes with Costello before taking aim and curling over a point to make it 0-13 to 0-10.
Welcome back, Diarmuid Connolly... 😲🙌pic.twitter.com/lemhx3EJ0R
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) August 4, 2019
The closing stages saw a clearly flagging Tyrone pump in fruitless high balls and Dublin miss a couple of simple chances to stretch their lead. Brogan was screaming out for the ball to be teed up for him, when Paddy Andrews opted to fist over. He drilled an effort for goal, two minutes after, and Gallen deflected it over the bar for a point.
The biggest cheer of the game arrived on 69 minutes when Connolly's game was ended by receiving a black card for a crude pull back of a Tyrone player. Both Dublin and Tyrone fans cheered Connolly as he jogged towards the sideline.
Eoghan O'Gara smashed home a Dublin goal in added time and that was all she wrote. Tyrone are back in action against Kerry, next Sunday, while Dublin will face Mayo at Croke Park on Saturday from 5pm.
OUR MAN OF THE MATCH: Sean Bugler (Dublin)
DUBLIN: Evan Comerford; Rory O'Carroll, David Byrne, Andrew McGowan; Eoin Murchan, Johnny Cooper, Johnny McDaid; Sean Bugler, James McCarthy; Eric Lowndes, Cormac Costello, Diarmuid Connolly; Kevin McManamon, Paddy Small, Paddy Andrews.
TYRONE: Benny Gallen, Ciarán McLuaghlin, Pádraig Hampsey, Liam Rafferty; Tiarnan McCann, Aidan McCrory, Michael Cassidy; Ben McDonnell, Declan McClure; Richard Donnelly, Kyle Coney, Conan Grugan; David Mulgrew, Connor McAliskey, Conall McCann.
Referee: Joe McQuillan