Man on fire in Longford as Laois strike late to knock Derry out
Tyrone 2-15 Longford 1-14
There's a man on fire in Longford.
Two weekends ago in Breffni Park and Cathal McShane cut a very frustrated figure. Neil McGee was behind him, Hugh McFadden was in front of him and the 14 Tyrone players around him were uninspired.
The Owen Roes forward was starving for possession. But he was left to starve.
He scrapped for ball, of course he scrapped, he even kicked a fine point and won a few frees from the few crumbs that came his way but given the limited service and the outsmarted game-plan, Tyrone's secret weapon was never going to be able to make hay.
Longford were always going to be in for it.
Two tough weeks hearing the criticism passed but McShane was readying himself with each passing day. 16 minutes weren't even on the clock in Glennon Park by the time he had two goals scored and had a whole host of Longford defenders trailing in his blistering wake.
Tyrone were well on their way.
There's a fire, a steel, a will you'd love to bottle up in McShane's play this year and their full forward and former midfielder is driving it all. It's very hard to stop him when he won't go anywhere without the ball.
He kicked the first goal on nine minutes after intercepting a short kickout and the second followed on 16 when he jumped highest to punch to the net. In between all of this was a point from play and free won.
Longford couldn't stop him. By half-time, he had 2-2 scored and a few more frees won. Tyrone kicked on in the second, Peter Harte gracefully gliding into the game and Mattie Donnelly pulling the strings. McShane always had Longford at arms' length.
A late goal for Longford took the gloss away from the scoreline as did a Peter Harte black card, his second in as many games but Tyrone are still going strong.
Laois 1-13 Derry 0-12
Derry took Laois all the way up to the Owenbeg mountains for their round two qualifier clash and what followed was an even battle on the side of the hill.
Eventually though, it was the less familiar travelling side who reached the summit.
Derry kicked themselves into an early lead but after Laois levelled it up there was never anything between these two evenly matched sides. Score for score they went up until the 68th minute when sub Eoin Lowry turned the game on its head.
The Killeshin man's goal put them two up with injury time around the corner but the six that were added on meant it was far from over.
That's when stalwart Kieran Lillis stepped up with a massive score to seal it for John Sugrue's men. Colm Murphy was brilliant for them the whole way through and Eoin Lowry's late free sealed the deal.