By Mike Fitzpatrick
Two sendings off and an untold number of bookings marred this senior football quarter final which had previously all the potential of being one of the games of the season.
The game started with Kerry grabbing four points without reply from John Crowley, Bingo Driscoll and Mike Carmody.
Tyrone had Mickey Slowey’s free-taking expertise to thank when he reduced the deficit with two over the bar efforts, and in the early stages it seemed that we may have had an excellent game of football on our hands.
We were to be disappointed.
Tempers frayed, and following a number of bad challenges, fists were raised and Kerry’s John Driscoll was given his marching orders by the overworked referee, Jimmy Naughton.
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Tyrone’s Philip Sloane escaped with a booking for the same incident and Kerry were forced to play on with 14 men. Tyrone were clearly at an advantage but failed to fully utilize the extra man and, later in the game, were forced to finish a man short themselves when full back Sean Teague was sent off, seemingly for an off-the-ball incident.
The games frantic pace continued with Kerry the stronger side as the half wore on.
Bingo Driscoll was superb for Paddy Kearney’s kingdom side and added a number of vital points after the break.
Tyrone had the gifted Martin Slowey to thank for a stirring display in defense which prevented Willie O’Donnell from changing forward on a number of occasions.
Just as Tyrone had begun to fight back, John Crowley hit a stunning goal for Kerry and from the resulting poor kickout, Bingo fired over a point to give Kerry an impressive eight point lead.
Duke Devlin brought himself on for Tyrone to add some fresh legs to the Ulster sides cause, hitting a point shortly afterward.
Michael Slowey scored two more to bring his tally to seven, and in doing so, practically declaring himself New York’s top scorer for 1999.
A goal from Barry Tally brought Tyrone back a little, but somewhere between skirmishes, Kerry snatched a five point victory following scores from Willie O’Donnell, John McGlynn and Crowley.
It’s Kerry versus Stamford in an eagerly anticipated semi-final in two weeks time.
Let’s just hope football, not fighting, makes the headlines.
Kerry: Robbie Dowd, Kieran Driscoll, Paul Gallivan, Paul Dillon, Louis Holland, John Driscoll, Peter Riney, John McGlynn (0-1), Paddy Connor, Mike Carmody (0-1), Willie O’Donnell (0-2), Bingo Driscoll (0-6), Dave McCarthy, John Crowley (1-4), Paudi Mulvihill.
Tyrone: Mike Deere, Aidan Lloyd, Sean Teague, Martin Slowey, Philip Sloane, Gary McConnell, Collie Fearon, Enda Muldooney, Danny Barr, Philip Mallon, Michael Slowey (0-7), Barry Tally (1-0), John Cormican, Gerard Calvan (0-1). Subs: Duke Devlin (0-1), Paddy Redmond.