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Last Updated: Sunday, 13 July, 2003, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Clones thriller ends in draw
Peter Canavan scored Tyrone's goal from the penalty spot
Peter Canavan (right) hit 1-6 for Tyrone at Clones

Tyrone 1-17 4-8 Down

Tyrone and Down will have to do it all again next week at Clones after playing out a thrilling draw in Sunday's Bank of Ireland Ulster Football decider.

Few pundits had fancied Down to trouble the National League champions but Paddy O'Rourke's largely young side produced a magnificent display to have Tyrone on the ropes early in the second half.

Two goals in a minute shortly after half-time helped the Mourne lead lead by an incredible nine points against a seemingly shellshocked Tyrone.

To their credit, Tyrone then regrouped to hit 1-6 without reply to level the match only for Dan Gordon to notch his second goal of the match in the 63rd minute to put Down three ahead again.

However, Tyrone still had time to hit three unanswered points and Peter Canavan, Kevin Hughes and Ryan McMenamin all missed injury-time chances which would have ensured a Red Hand victory.

Tyrone looked the better side for the majority of the first half but Down's economy of effort in notching scores when they did manage to break into opposition territory kept them in touch.

Owen Mulligan had a goal chance in the opening seconds but Mickey McVeigh spread himself well to block the effort.

Down did look dangerous when they managed to break into the Tyrone half with the Red Hand half-backs' eagerness to get forward, leaving gaps for the Mournemen to exploit.

One such occasion was the 14th minute when Ronan Sexton cut in towards the Tyrone goal only for him to be bottled up by the defence.

Gregory McCartan was given a red card late in the first half
Gregory McCartan will appeal his dismissal

Tyrone led 0-3 to 0-2 in the 16th minute when McVeigh again came to Down's rescue with a superb pointblank shot to deny Cormac McAnallen although Brian Dooher did point the rebound.

The Red Hands seemed to be shaking off Down nearing half-time when they forged a three-point lead on on three occasions.

However, Down then stunned the favourites by hitting 1-2 in first half injury-time to put them two ahead at the break.

Coulter scored the goal with the Mayobridge man cutting inside and then brilliantly beating John Devine at the near post from close range.

Mixed into that frantic period was the shock sending-off of Gregory McCartan after he had thrown the ball at the face of Tyrone player Brian McGuigan.

McCartan appeared to be tripped after he had been awarded a free and while his reaction was heated, a dismissal seemed a tad harsh.

Indeed Down officials confirmed afterwards that they would be appealing against the sending-off.

But McCartan's dismissal only served to fire up Down in the early moments of the second half.

Coulter waltzed through the Tyrone defence in the 38th minute and unselfishly set up Liam Doyle with a simple goal chance which was hammered to the net.

A five-point lead then became eight seconds later when Dan Gordon fisted a towering ball from Ronan Sexton to the net.

Down boss Paddy O'Rourke
Paddy O'Rourke celebrates a Down goal

A further glorious score from Coulter after a majestic Down move left the Mournemen an amazing nine points to the good against a seemingly beaten Tyrone side.

However, Tyrone crucially struck back with a goal of the own in the 47th minute with Peter Canavan slotting home a penalty after he himself had been fouled.

With Brian McGuigan revelling in the extra-man role, Tyrone then hit six unanswered points in the next 14 minutes to level the contest.

By this stage, Down had introduced James McCartan and Shane King but Tyrone seemed set to firmly in control and on the way to victory.

However, incredibly Down weren't finished and Gordon soared above Chris Lawn in the 63rd minute to fist another goal to once again put three between the sides.

Despite this latest setback, Tyrone methodically went about the business of getting on terms again with Mulligan, Gourlay and Canavan's 69th minute score levelling matters again.

Canavan thought he had won the title with a shot in the 71st minute but the ball was judged to be inches wide and while Tyrone had other chances, a draw was a fair result.

Tyrone: J Devine, D Carlin, C Lawn, R McMenamin, C Gormley (0-1), D McCrossan, P Jordan (0-1), C McAnallen, S Cavanagh (0-2), B Dooher (0-1), B McGuigan (0-1), K Hughes (0-1), E McGinley, P Canavan (1-6), O Mulligan (0-3). Subs: C Gourley (0-1), B Robinson, M Harte.

Down: M McVeigh, J Clarke, B Burns (0-1), M Cole, J Lavery, A O'Prey, A Molloy, S Ward, G McCartan (0-1), L Doyle (1-4), M Walsh, B Coulter (1-1), R Sexton, D Gordon (2-1), R Murtagh. Subs: J McCartan, S King, M Linden.


Munster Football Final:
Kerry 1-11 0-9 Limerick
All-Ireland Hurling Qualifier
Tipperary 1-18 1-17 Galway



SEE ALSO
Tyrone take minor title
13 Jul 03  |  Gaelic Games
McCartan wins writers award
13 Jul 03  |  Gaelic Games


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