Wednesday 7 December 2016

Harte laments loss of 'victim' Cavanagh

Published 07/08/2016 | 02:30

Cavanagh picked up a second yellow card for a high challenge on Aidan O’Shea, forcing referee David Gough to remove him. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Cavanagh picked up a second yellow card for a high challenge on Aidan O’Shea, forcing referee David Gough to remove him. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has claimed Sean Cavanagh was a "victim of enticement" after the captain's red card in the 59th minute of their All-Ireland quarter-final with Mayo.

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Cavanagh picked up a second yellow card for a high challenge on Aidan O'Shea, forcing referee David Gough to remove him.

But an earlier yellow, which he picked up after an altercation with his marker Lee Keegan, just as the teams came back out on to the field for the second half, was the source of Harte's ire.

He was adamant that Cavanagh never looked for trouble like that in his career.

"I didn't see it so it's unfortunate that it happened but I know this for sure that Sean Cavanagh doesn't go looking for cards, he never did in his whole career.

"It was a shame that he'd be a victim of someone else enticing him into that. He doesn't go looking for anything and I can say that 100pc and I have no fear of contradiction," said Harte.

"He never went looking for a yellow card in his life. It seems a shame that a man at this stage of his career who has given so much to our games should fall victim to that kind of stuff."

Cavanagh had appealed to one of the linesmen in the first half for greater awareness of what was going on in his duel with Keegan.

"That's always the case," Harte said. "If a forward wants to go and attack and it ends up a wrestling match, it's not likely the forward is going to instigate that."

Harte said it was "always disappointing when someone doesn't get what they deserve" and the loss of Cavanagh for that crucial last period really told. "Obviously in a game of that nature how tight it was and to lose a man like Sean. We just didn't lose any player, we lost our captain, we lost the most experienced player that we have and it put us under severe pressure.

"You can't win games of this nature without a man like that on the field."

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