Sunday 22 October 2017

Harte stokes the fires over officials ahead of Armagh duel

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte. Photo: Sportsfile
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Bogue

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte has sent the first flare into the skies ahead of this weekend's All-Ireland derby quarter-final against Armagh, by suggesting that match-day officials should watch out for aggressive play.

Speaking at a press event at the Garvaghey centre, Harte recalled the 2014 Round 2B qualifier between the two sides in Omagh. As referee Cormac Reilly threw the ball in to start that game, a number of scuffles developed with Armagh remembered as the aggressors.

When the dust settled, Reilly booked Armagh's Aidan Forker and Matthew Donnelly of Tyrone, who was sent off after 30 minutes through a second yellow card.

"We believed that we would win that game and we got a little bit ambushed I would feel on the day. That is probably even more annoying than the result and we felt that we suffered a bit from stuff that was not of our own making, so we have to learn from that," said Harte.

Learned

"We have learned since to be aware of those kind of things and to know that you can be faced with things that you might not always expect and being forewarned is forearmed."

Harte went further on the controversial incident, stating: "There was an element of aggression, of off-the-ball aggression and one our players got a yellow card and he was left on a knife-edge for the rest of the game; so much so that a clumsy tackle caused him to have to leave the field and we were down a man and it led to what was not a great day for us.

"Perhaps we did not anticipate that coming and I suppose it is good to know that is a possibility that can happen when you go out to play anybody and it taught us, not just about the direct opponents we are playing now but that we have to be ready for every game."

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