Goalkeeper saves Tyrone as draw with Roscommon gives Red Hands first league point

Roscommon 1-10 - 1-10 Tyrone

Goalkeeper Niall Morgan was Tyrone’s saviour at Hyde Park, scoring a dramatic equalising point from play to earn his side a first point of the NFL Division One campaign.

The Rossies allowed a seven points lead to slip as the wind-assisted Red Hands came storming back in the second half, with Morgan also converting two long-range frees.

Anthony Cunningham’s men led by 0-10 to 0-4 at the break, but scored just once in the second half, an Ultan Harney goal, as they were pressed back deep into their own half by a determined visiting side.

Roscommon survived an early spell of Tyrone pressure to go in front through Conor Cox in the eighth minute, but Peter Harte’s second converted free had the sides level.

The Rossies, playing with the aid of a strong wind, turned the game decisively in their favour as they pushed forward with purpose with support runners, working off a series of turnovers as the Red Hands attempted to make ground by working the ball through the hands.

With Conor Devaney and David Murray pressing from deep, they countered for Cox to pick up a loose ball and shoot his side back in front.

Tyrone’s best move of the half ended with Kieran McGeary sending full-back Ronan McNamee in for a fisted point, but McNamee was soon afterwards forced out of the game by injury.

The sides were level going into the second quarter, but the home side crafted a glorious goal-scoring chance for Donie Smith, but the full forward’s effort came back off the butt of a post.

Tyrone also had a goal opportunity when Brian Kennedy sent Cathal McShane through, but with the net at his mercy he sent his shot flying wide.

And Roscommon dominated the final 15 minutes of the half, pushing up on goalkeeper Niall Morgan’s kick-outs.

They out-scored the Ulster men by 0-7 to 0-1 in the final 15 minutes of the half, with Donie Smith, Kilroy and Ronan Daly all on target as they went seven clear.

Tyrone managed just one point from play in the opening half, with all of Roscommon’s scores coming from open play as they took a 0-10 to 0-4 lead into the interval.

Harte narrowed the gap with a couple of frees, but in the 43rd minute, Roscommon struck a major blow, Ultan Harney punching to the net as Cox crossed from the left.

Goalkeeper Morgan converted a monster 60 metre free, and Tyrone narrowed the gap to three points when substitute Kyle Coney arrowed in a menacing delivery which Cathal McShane fisted to the net in the 50th minute.

Tyrone’s intensity and effectiveness in the tackle improved markedly as they hunted down opponents in possession, and a Darren McCurry score edged them closer.

And for the second game in a row, goalkeeper Morgan scored from play, a glorious effort to bring his side level with three minutes remaining.

Roscommon were awarded a scoreable free deep into stoppage time, but the decision was reversed by referee Noel Mooney following an altercation, and the Ulster men survived.

Roscommon: D O’Malley; D Murray, C Daly (0-1), E McGrath; C Devaney, C Hussey, R Daly (0-1); T O’Rourke, E Smith; S Kiloran (0-2), U Harney (1-1), N Kilroy (0-1); C Cox (0-3), D Smith (0-1), C Cregg.

Subs: C Compton for Cregg (53), G Patterson for Kilroy (55), H Darcy for Hussey (62), A Lyons for Cox (68)

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-3, 2f); R Brennan, R McNamee (0-1), C McLaughlin, T McCann, B McDonnell, M McKernan; B Kennedy, P Hampsey; M Donnelly, N Sludden, P Harte (0-5, 5f); D McCurry (0-1), C McShane (1-0), K McGeary.

Subs: C Meyler for McLaughlin (28), HP McGeary for McNamee (30), K Coney for Sludden (39), H Loughran for McDonnell (50), F Burns for Brennan (58)

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).

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