THE dream is over for another year. Tyrone looked perfectly positioned to qualify for the All-Ireland final, but everything went pear-shaped in the second-half as the Kerry recorded a 1-18 to 0-18 victory at Croke Park.
Tyrone’s losing streak against the ‘top three’ going back a decade was flagged up in the lead-up to today’s game, and one wonders if this team will be able to bounce back from such a dispiriting defeat.
It was all going pretty much according to plan in the first-half. Cathal McShane was making hay at the one end of the pitch, while David Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Paul Geaney weren’t making much of a contribution at the other end of the pitch.
Tyrone looked the more composed, experienced team, and were full value for their 0-9 to 0-5 lead at half-time, but the game was entirely turned on its head in the second-half.
Kerry came out all guns blazing in the second-half, but referee Maurice Deegan didn’t do us any favours as he handed Peter Keane’s side a concession of soft frees.
However, Tyrone seemed to flag considerably and the killer score arrived in the 56th minute as Stephen O’Brien goaled to give Kerry a three-point lead heading into the final quarter-final.
The Kerry fans were in dreamland and they kept Tyrone at arm’s length with some excellent points from Clifford and O’Brien, who may miss the final after picking up a late black card.
Tyrone battled bravely but they never really looked like getting a goal even though there were six minutes of injury time. A desperately disappointing end to the season.
Pick up tomorrow’s Tyrone Herald for a full match report and reaction to today’s match