THE SAM MAGUIRE Cup its on his way back to the home of the new All-Ireland champions Tyrone following a brilliant victory over Mayo at Croke Park.
Celebrations are beginning across the county following the 2-14 to 0-15 win. It has earned the Red Hands a fourth triumph, and both the fans and players were ecstatic at the success.
Second half goals from Cathal McShane and then Darren McCurry gave Tyrone the edge as they swept aside the challenge of the Connacht champions. The Owen Roes player fired home 11 minutes after the restart before Darren McCurry gave them breathing space after a great run from Conn Kilpatrick.
From then to the finish, it was a case of holding out for Tyrone and they emerged with the title to spark celebrations not seen since the glory days of 2003, 2005 and 2008.
Such a fine finish from Tyrone didn’t seem too likely during the opening stages as both counties endured tentative starts. But, by the end of the first quarter, the Red Hands were already showing signs of the form which was to launch them to the title.
Points from Darren McCurry, Kieran McGeary, Niall Sludden, Mattie Donnelly and Niall Morgan helped them into a 0-8 to 0-5 lead. Mayo came close to grabbing goals, but the Tyrone defence held firm and Ronan McNamee, Peter Harte, Padraig Hampsey and Michael McKernan excelled.
But the real turning points emerged on the resumption. As Mayo worked hard to up the pace, a penalty award proved to be a key moment. However, Ryan O’Donohue’s shot sailed wide, and the reprieve spurred Tyrone into action.
Just minutes later Cathal McShane goaled with his very first touch and Tyrone were on their way. The introduction of Darragh Canavan also added fresh impetus to the attack and they were soon enjoying a vital cushion.
That second goal from Darren McCurry really put them on the road to the win. Further points courtesy of Darragh Canavan and Peter Harte set the seal on a famous victory.