On Sunday, media underdogs Tyrone faced Dublin in the Allianz NFL Division 1 final in the GAA headquarters of Croke Park. Tyrone experienced huge misfortune minutes before the game when captain Stephen O’Neill injured himself in a warm up activity forcing him to have no part in their first Division 1 final in 10 years, a huge set back for Tyrone especially when they were also without the input of Peter Harte, also out to injury.
Despite these absences however, Tyrone had more than enough high calibre players to call on and although trailing by 0-04 to 0-01 in the opening 10 minutes after points from Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly, they soon found their flow drawing level with scores from Connor McAliskey, Matthew Donnelly and goalkeeper Niall Morgan. The points continued to come from both ends throughout the half and although Dublin came closest to scoring a goal, both sides went in at the break 0-10 apiece.
Tyrone played with breeze in the second half towards the Canal End and this breeze helped Morgan score further 45′s. Aidan Cassidy, who came on for an injured Dermot Carlin, worked tirelessly around the heart of the field along with Sean Cavanagh, Mark Donnelly and Joe McMahon. The scoreline throughout the second half rarely had no more than one point in it and on the 67th minute, it was advantage Tyrone after a Martin Penrose score. But changes on the Dublin bench saw Dean Rock come on and spoil Tyrone’s chances of picking up a second piece of silverware in 2013 after he scored 2 points to leave Dublin the 2013 Allianz NFL Division 1 champions.
Full time score; Tyrone 0-17 Dublin 0-18
There were a lot of question marks regarding referee Martin Duffy’s decision to only award 1 minute of injury time which was highly suspect but all in all it was an excellent Tyrone performance and one which will send out a clear signal of intent to Donegal who they meet in 4 weeks time in the first round of the Ulster Senior Championship.
Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton lifts the Allianz NFL Division 1 cup.
The Tyrone team line out for the team photo minus Stephen O’Neill.
Joe McMahon was captain for the game.
Niall Morgan warms up before the game with some shooting drills.
A final word from Mickey.