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Goal hungry Tyrone hammer Roscommon

Tyrone4-24 - 2-12Roscommon

By Paul Keane

Goal hungry Tyrone hammered Roscommon at Croke Park to launch their Super 8s campaign in style and move within touching distance of the All-Ireland semi-finals.

Mickey Harte's side were rarely troubled in the first ever quarter-final group stage game and sewed up victory long before full-time.

Pic: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Niall Sludden grabbed their opening goal in the first-half and three more flew in after the break from Conor Meyler, Peter Harte and Richard Donnelly.

It was another strong display from full-forward Donnelly who has developed into a strong attacking option for the Ulster side, hitting 1-4 from play.

The standard will rise considerably next Saturday evening when they host All-Ireland holders Dublin in Omagh, a year on from being demolished by the Dubs at Croke Park.

Harte reckons his side is perfectly poised for that encounter after five straight wins with this match taking little out of them.

As for Roscommon, they host Donegal at Dr Hyde Park at 5pm next Saturday knowing they must win or their summer is over.

Kevin McStay's side had a good first 20 minutes when they were neck and neck with the 2017 Ulster champions and they rallied briefly again at the start of the second-half.

But other than that they were chasing shadows and were powerless to prevent 13 different Tyrone players scoring overall, including four defenders.

Tyrone were just a point ahead after 22 minutes, 1-4 to 0-6, and that was chiefly down to Sludden's 12th minute goal.

But they took off from there and were deserved 1-10 to 0-6 half-time leaders as they hit the last six points of the opening half.

Enda Smith pulled back a solo goal for Roscommon after the restart and they were briefly just four points back as they dared to dream.

But the insurgence was quickly snuffed out by a Tyrone side that added on 3-13 after conceding that goal to Smith.

Meyler fired their second goal in the 50th minute before Harte converted a 62nd minute penalty after a foul on Hugh Pat McGeary.

Donnelly got the goal he deserved to cap a fine performance in the 76th minute when he palmed in after a move involving Mattie Donnelly and Ronan O'Neill.

Colm Cavanagh and Cathal McCarron both went off with injuries which will be monitored during the week.

Tyrone's Cathal McCarron goes down injured. Pic: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Tyrone scorers: R Donnelly 1-4, P Harte 1-3 (1-0pen, 0-3f), N Sludden 1-2, C McAliskey 0-4 (0-3f), C Meyler 1-0, C McShane, M Bradley 0-2, T McCann, C Meyler, M McKernan, R McNamee, D McClure, M Donnelly, R Brennan 0-1.

Roscommon scorers: D Murtagh 0-5 (0-3f), C Murtagh 1-3 (0-2f), E Smith 1-0, F Cregg, C Devaney, P Kelly, C Daly 0-1.

Tyrone: N Morgan; M McKernan, R McNamee, C McCarron; T McCann, M Donnelly, F Burns; C Cavanagh, P Hampsey; P Harte, N Sludden, C Meyler (K McGeary 50); C McShane, R Donnelly, C McAliskey.

Subs: HP McGeary for McCarron 19, K McGeary for Meyler 50, D McClure 0-1 for Cavanagh 51, M Bradley 0-2 for McAliskey 55, R Brennan 0-1 for McKernan 58, R O'Neill for Sludden 59.

Roscommon: C Lavin; D Murray, N McInerney, N Daly; J McManus, C Devaney, Fintan Cregg; T O'Rourke, E Smith; C Murtagh, C Compton, N Kilroy; D Murtagh, C Cregg, D Smith.

Subs: B Stack for C Cregg h/t, Finbarr Cregg for D Smith h/t, G Patterson for Daly 46, C Daly 0-1 for Fintan Cregg 53, S Killoran for C Murtagh 62, P Kelly 0-1 for E Smith 65.

Ref: D Gough (Meath).