Saturday 16 December 2017

No back door for Tyrone is a 'disgrace', fumes Harte

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte branded it 'a disgrace' that provincial winners who lost All-Ireland quarter-finals weren't allowed a second chance while also emphasising that he wasn't in any way detracting from the merit of Dublin's win, which he described as a victory for efficiency.

His Dublin counterpart, Pat Gilroy, knows all about the perils of winning a provincial title and being exposed in the All-Ireland quarter-final but, for now at least, he is enjoying the warm glow created by reheating the pot on the qualifier fire.

"As a group, we see ourselves in bonus territory now. It wouldn't have been our expectation that we would beat one of the top three this year. We thought there would be a bit of a gap because we had so many new guys," he said.

The reality was that his new-look Dublin side didn't recognise any perceived gaps as they matched Tyrone in every facet of important activity before pressing on with a late finishing burst.

"It was a case of two teams working hard and making life hard for each other and one team being a bit more efficient around goal," said Harte.


"They (Dublin) fought for every ball and we were never secure in possession. They have been doing that all year and they have now got the fruits of their labours.

"I can't fault our players -- they all worked very hard. When you create as many chances as we did, you mostly win games. It didn't happen on this occasion."

He was generous in his praise of Dublin but had harsh words for GAA legislators who refuse to change the current All-Ireland system.

"Why is it that the team that wins their province isn't given a second chance if they lose an All-Ireland quarter-final? It's an absolute disgrace that provincial winners are disadvantaged. The system is flawed and nobody will give me a solid argument to say that it isn't," he said.

That was of no concern to Dublin, however, as they celebrated a famous victory.

Gilroy said that despite the defeat by Meath, he was confident that they were heading in the right direction this year.

"We had the right bunch and we had enough evidence to believe that this was the right thing for us to do," he said.

Man of the match Bernard Brogan identified the team ethic as a central plank in Dublin's success.

"We have been criticised in the past for individuals playing on their own but you saw out there that the team is working really hard together," said Brogan.

Meanwhile, as Tyrone look to the future, Harte said it was far too early to even consider whether some players would be retire.

However, he has no doubts about his own future. So Mickey will be back in 2011?

"You can take that for sure," he said.

Irish Independent

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