Tyrone drop into Division 2 but joy for Kerry as Colm Cooper returns to action
Kerry 1-14 Tyrone 0-17
A heart-breaking day for Tyrone, who despite producing an excellent performance in Omagh, couldn’t stave off relegation from Division 1 of the Allianz Football League.
They needed to beat Kerry to avoid the drop to Division 2 but just couldn’t get over the line in a hectic finish. Tyrone manager, Mickey Harte missed the game after undergoing a surgical procedure during the week, but he will be heartened by many aspects of a really spirited effort.
Tyrone led by 0-8 to 0-7 at half-time, with seven of 15 points coming from frees. Sean Cavanagh slotted over four for Tyrone while Bryan Sheehan countered with three for Tyrone.
Johnny Buckley and David Moran landed some good long-range points for Kerry while strong running by Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly, who was named at centre-forward but dropped back in a defensive role, yielded two excellent points for the home side.
Kerry made a crucial break in the 45th minute when Paul Geaney pounced for the only goal of the game after excellent approach work by Kieran Donaghy and Darran O’Sullivan.
Kerry extended the lead to four points in 53rd minute but Tyrone responded bravely and were level with six minutes remaining.
Kerry twice led in an exciting finale but Tyrone levelled it on both occasions but just couldn’t get through for the winner that would have preserved their Division 1 status.
A draw was not enough for Kerry to make the semi-finals but they, too, will be happy with much of yesterday’s performance. They will also be pleased with the return to action of Colm Cooper, who came on as second half-sub and looked sharp amid the crowded environs of the Tyrone defence.
Following results in the other games, Monaghan will take on Dublin and Cork will face 2012 All-Ireland champions Donegal in next week's semi finals.
Tyrone: S Curran; A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron; R McNabb (0-1), Justin McMahon, P Harte (0-1); C Cavanagh, P McNulty; T McCann, M Donnelly (0-1), R McKenna; D McCurry(0-7, 0-3 frees), S Cavanagh (0-6, 0-6 frees), , P Hughes.
Subs: Joe McMahon (0-1) or McNulty (ht), C McAliskey for McCann (52), PJ Lavery for Hughes (55), R O’Neill for Justin McMahon (58),
Kerry: B Kealy; P Murphy (0-2), M Griffin, S Enright; J Lyne, P Crowley, K Young; A Maher (0-1), D Moran (0-1); A Fitzgerald, B Sheehan (0-4, 0-3 frees), , J Buckley (0-2); S O’Brien, K Donaghy (0-1), BJ Keane.
Subs: P Geaney (1-2) for Keane (15), D O’Sullivan (0-1) for Fitzgerald (ht), T Walsh for O’Brien (42 - black card), M O Se for Crowley (53), C Cooper for Sheehan (63), F Fitzgerald for Young (65).
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)
Division 1 Results
Derry 2-15 Cork 1-11, Mayo 0-12 Donegal 1-09, Monaghan 1-11 Dublin 1-22, Tyrone 0-17 Kerry 1-14