Marvellous Mattie Donnelly kicks Tyrone out of trouble after gutsy Cork display
Tyrone 2-15 Cork 2-12
Close, but no cigar for Cork.
Just like last week, the Rebels come out of Croke Park with credit, with a performance but ultimately, with a loss. From the highs of leading by five at half-time, they were horsed out of it in the second half as a change in tactics saw Tyrone burst into life.
It wasn't pretty, but it's job done for Mickey Harte's men now and their place in the All-Ireland semi-finals are as good as sealed now.
Cork began the game like men inspired. Ian Maguire won the throw-in and he raced down the heart of the Tyrone defence. Little one-two with Brian Hurley, little dink to Luke Connolly.
The finish was pure sublime. The swagger of it all was pure Cork.
Touch of class from a @NemoRangersGAA genius
Most players blast this into Morgan's hands, he drops it onto his foot and slides it in low 💯
So clever, Cork have arrived to Croker 🔴pic.twitter.com/gkbzzv0taK
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) July 20, 2019
This was no flash in the pan though. Every single analyst had wrote them off before the game, Cork were playing like men who had chips on shoulders.
Sean White was in the middle of it all. The centre forward was the lynchpin of every single Cork attack and by half-time he had touched the ball no less than 30 times. Outrageous stuff.
In between, Tyrone sat back and Cork had the run of Croker. The impressive wing back Mattie Taylor kicked a beaut off the left while Luke Connolly slotted a gorgeous free.
Mark Collins clipped over a few more dad balls and then came James Loughrey. From miles back he bombed on and he finished like a corner back shouldn't be able to do.
That finish 😻 from the corner back ! !
But it's all about the Cork physio buck-leaping around the place going mad in the bottom corner of the screen 😂👏👏pic.twitter.com/R8yHJ2XuwU
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) July 20, 2019
Tyrone were in bother. Cathal McShane hit the post. They showed flip all in attack and Peter Harte was keeping them in the game. Mickey Harte's half-time team talk was always going to be a fierce one.
They came out in the second half a completely different team with three subs made. That wasn't the only difference. The counter-attacking system was left for dead and Tyrone from five points down, started making headway. Sean White kicked the first score for them but that was it.
In contrast to the first half, Tyrone bounded into it like men possessed here while Cork were slow, sluggish and flat.
Mattie Donnelly was the instigator of the Red hand revival.
He was running hard and kicking scores. Peter Harte followed his lead. Cathal McShane kicked a free and then Michael McKernan set him up for one of those underwhelming fists into the net. They all count.
Two minutes later and Peter Harte had a brilliant penalty slotted safely into the Canal End and Tyrone were from nowhere, leading by one. Cork didn't know where they were.
Substitute Michael Hurley got them going again. The Castlehaven man was inspired in that second half but the rest of the Cork team just like last week, seemed to run out of gas.
Tyrone meanwhile, are a machine. It was the Mattie Donnelly show as they kicked onto win fairly comfortably, outscoring Cork by 2-9 to 0-7 in the second half.
Mark White, James Loughrey (1-0), Thomas Clancy, Kevin Flahive; Liam O' Donovan, Tomas Clancy, Mattie Taylor (0-1). Ian Maguire, Killian O' Hanlon; Kevin O' Driscoll, Sean White (0-1), Ruairi Deane; Mark Collins (0-2f), Brian Hurley, Luke Connolly (1-3, 0-2f)
James Loughrey for Tomás Clancy (12), Paul Kerrigan for Brian Hurley (49), Michael Hurley (0-4) for Mark Collins (52), John O'Rourke (0-1) for Kevin O'Driscoll and Sean Powter for Sean White (Both 58) Stephen Sherlock for Stephen Cronin (66)
Niall Morgan; Hugh Pat McGeary, Ronan McNamee, Rory Brennan; Michael McKernan, Kieran McGeary, Frank Burns; Colm Cavanagh, Brian Kennedy; Mattie Donnelly (0-3), Niall Sludden, Peter Harte (1-4, 0-3f, 1-0 penalty) Darren McCurry, Cathal McShane (1-4, 0-3f), Conor Meyler (0-1)
Richie Donnelly for McCurry, Padraig Hampsey Hugh Pat McGeary, Cassidy for Brian Kennedy (All HT), Tiernan McCann (0-1) for Michael McKernan (52), Conor McAliskey for Niall Sludden (55),