By Mike Fitzpatrick
Tyrone 0-12, Kerry 1-8
The battle between the sides in this senior football Div. 1 clash was always going to be a tough affair, with Tyrone clearly out to prove that they are championship material, and Kerry, the side that never seems to relax, wishing to display to the Gaelic Park faithful that last year’s title win was no flash in the pan.
Tyrone began very much on the offensive, surging through towards the Kerry backline, only to be pushed farther back by the likes of Paddy O’Connor, Peter Riney, Paul Gallivan and Jake Rooney.
Tyrone did manage a couple of scores however, and swiftly moved into a three-point lead, courtesy of efforts from Ciaran McBride, Danny Barr and Justin Murray.
Kerry climbed right back into the fray with efforts from Bingo Driscoll, Mike Carmody and, right before the half-time buzzer sounded, Kerry’s midfielder Dave McSweeney pushed forward to hammer the ball past Tyrone keeper Karl Quinn to even the scores.
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Kerry, as they have been accustomed to do, moved in front with a point from Bingo Driscoll, and another from Driscoll’s brother Johnny. It looked to be the same old story, a gallant effort by one of Kerry’s rivals only to be defeated in style by Paddy Kearney’s lads from the Kingdom.
Tyrone had other ideas. Two accurate efforts from Tyrone midfielder brought Duke’s boys right back into the fray, and set up a pulsating finish to this, one of the most eagerly anticipated games so far in this year’s championship. A draw looked to be the outcome of the game, and nobody could have really have argued with that. Apart from the Tyrone boys of course. They were out for victory at all costs, and in the dying moments, a great run from the Ulster side’s Dermot Lane produced a winning point that will be long remembered in New York’s GAA circles.
Tyrone, having won their opening three games of the season, sat in an enviable position at the top of the table. So it was that the Ulster side were devastated having been defeated by underdogs Westmeath in their fourth outing of the campaign. Six points from four games played is still quite an achievement however, and will have done the Ulster side’s chances of reaching the playoffs no harm at all.
Kerry, on the other hand, entered this game with maximum points from five games played. The lads from the Kingdom clearly wish to hold on to the championship trophy which they won last year in what was their first New York crown in many a year.
Kerry: Finbarr Flood, Jake Rooney, Paul Gallivan, Paul Dillon, Paddy O’Connor, Adrian Riney, Peter Riney, Louis Holland, Dave McSweeney (1-0), Mike Carmody (0-1), Johnny Driscoll (0-1), Mark Fitzgerald, Dave McCarthy (0-1), Bingo Driscoll (0-4), Paul McCarthy (0-1). Subs: Paudi Mulvihill
Tyrone: Karl Quinn, Marty McClennan, Brian Quinn, Liam Briody, Enda Donnelly, Gary McGonnell, Collie Fearon (0-1), Danny Barr (0-2), Paul McGuirk (0-1), Justin Murray (0-2), Dermot Lane (0-1), Philip Sloane (0-1), Ronan Reilly (0-1), Ciaran McBride (0-3), Darren Flanagan. Subs: John Cormican, Joe Firth, Eamonn Devlin, Peter Devlin, Barry Tally.