Tyrone made a positive start to their Super 8s campaign with a four-point victory over Roscommon at Dr. Hyde Park this evening.
It was a repeat of last years the opening game of the Super 8s.
This time last year Mickey Harte's side inflicted a massive 18 point win over Roscommon. It was awkward viewing in Croke Park at times as the Rossies looked nieve and miles behind Tyrone in terms of physicality, athleticism and in their ability to take scores.
This evening, Anthony Cunningham's side welcomed the Red Hand to Dr. Hyde Park as Connacht Champions with a fresh optimism and confidence after big wins over Mayo and Galway.
Enda Smith was extremely impressive for Roscommon with a number of blistering runs, one of which ended with Niall Morgan forced to make a massive save, one of many from him throughout the course of the evening.
Tyrone lead 08-06 at the break in front of 14,465 supporters and 11 minutes after the break a Shane Killoran point reduced the lead to1`and it stood at 11 points to 10.
Tyrone responded though and pulled away, scoring 6 more points, they took control of the tie and Roscommon had no response.
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte spoke about Tyrone's dominance and management of the game afterward; "I think it was important we would try and stamp our authority on the game in the second half...the fact we were able to ping off a score every time they would get one it meant that they weren't narrowing the gap on us to be level or get ahead. I think if they ever got their nose in front it would have been a different game and outcome."
It was an impressive clinical performance from the Ulster side that finished up 0-17 to 0-13. Harte will be happy with his side's win but also the massive performance that Cathal McShane put in.
The forward sent 8 points over in a man-of-the-match display. With a lot of scepticism over Tyrone's lack of a marquee forward their supporters will have enjoyed watching the Owen Roe man on his spree.
He spoke after the game about his impressive show; "It's about hard work, practicing after training, hitting shots. I know being in full forward you have to be more clinical and ruthless so I'm working on that part of my game. I know last year I was more out the field but you have to be open to playing a lot of different positions, I'm happy in there, it's all about learning and getting better."
And getting better Tyrone surely look to be, gaining momentum too with every game.
As for learning, Mickey Harte may just have gained the most valuable inside into his side and their formation and found the missing piece of the jigsaw in McShane.