Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 18 March 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match

Declan O'Sullivan (Kerry)

By the end, Kerry had any number of contenders, but when it was tight and tense O'Sullivan brought most control and guile. He foraged deep, carried impressively and fired over three crucial points.

Turning point

Conor Gormley's freak goal silenced the crowd on 44 minutes, but Kieran Donaghy's reply less than a minute later liberated the Kingdom again.

Talking point

Once again rumours of Kerry's demise have been greatly exaggerated. They were never going to lose this match on their own home turf and remain comfortably positioned in the top three. It was Mickey Harte's heaviest championship defeat and leaves Tyrone with a mighty challenge.

Ref watch

David Coldrick dished out 16 yellow cards and a red for Brian McGuigan that really irked Harte. It was Coldrick's way of keeping a lid on a game that always threatened to get away from him. With the sides' propensity to square up to each other and lock horns it was almost impossible to handle. Missed a couple of frees in the first half and McGuigan's red card offence was not as bad as Patrick Curtin's yellow at the end.

Magic moment

Can only be one. Colm Cooper's deft pass to Bryan Sheehan in the build-up to the Kerry goal is worth watching over and over again. It was sublime, something similar to what James Kavanagh did with Kildare last week.

What they said

Jack O'Connor (Kerry manager):

"We hope it sparks us, but you never know. They're human beings, they're not robots. They can't just turn it on and off, but sometimes this crowd need the gun put to their head to play and the gun was to our heads here, no question about that."

Mickey Harte (Tyrone manager):

"Whenever it happens, that a team gets beaten by somebody and people keep reminding you of it, sure you always long for the day that you can put that to bed. Kerry have been waiting for this day for quite a while and when the day came, they certainly carried out their task with some aplomb."

Match statistics

Wides: Kerry 8 (5 in first half), Tyrone 8 (5)

Frees: Kerry 22 (10), Tyrone 25 (12)

Yellow cards: Kerry 7 (S Enright 15, P Galvin 19, K Donaghy 21, Marc O Se 44, C Cooper 56, D O'Sullivan 58, P Curtin 69). Tyrone 9 (C Gormley 10, M Penrose 15, R McNamee 19, C Cavanagh 20, C Clarke 36, P Harte 54, D McCurry 44, S O'Neill 61, J McMahon 72

Red Cards: Tyrone 1 (B McGuigan 57)

What next?

Kerry meet Clare in next weekend's fourth-round qualifier; Tyrone must look to 2013 to continue their rebuilding project.

Irish Independent

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