Northern Ireland news

Dejected Tyrone fans see the Red Hands soundly beaten by Dublin

Claire Simpson
28 August, 2017 01:00

DEJECTED Tyrone fans saw their beloved team lose their All-Ireland semi-final to a dominant Dublin side yesterday.

The red and white army were forced to return to the north empty-handed last night after Tyrone lost out on reaching their first All-Ireland final in almost a decade by a score of 2-17 to 0-11.

However there was joy for the Derry minor team who beat Dublin at yesterday's semi-final.

They will go on face champions Kerry in the final after a thrilling 0-17 to 0-14 win over Dublin on their home turf at Croke Park.

Thousands of Tyrone fans had travelled to Dublin yesterday in anticipation of a win for manager Mickey Harte's side.

The Red Hands last brought home Sam Maguire in 2008 and had been beaten at the semi-final stage three times since then.

Yesterday's defeat made it a fourth semi-final defeat for the O'Neill county.

To the disappointment of Tyrone's travelling support, Dublin's victory never seemed to be in any doubt.

In a nod to how soundly the northern team were beaten, RTÉ played Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart during its round-up of the match.

Although Tyrone scored the first point, Dublin took control of the game soon afterwards and never relinquished it.

It was a particularly painful match for captain Sean Cavanagh who is set to retire this year.

The 34-year-old, who was taken off after 54 minutes, was embraced by Dublin players including goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton at the end of the match.

He later tweeted: "My incredible journey ends. Blessed to have shared the highs & lows of our game with some amazing Gaels. Thanks for everything".

There had been a strong northern presence during yesterday's minor and senior semi-finals.

It was a day of celebration for one Co Antrim band who entertained fans at the home of Gaelic games.

Hounds of Ulster, whose members have played in Protestant flute bands, performed with Irish dancers from the McCullough-Curran School in Belfast.

The Newtownabbey-based group, formed in 2006, got a warm reception as they played some traditional tunes on flute band instruments.

Fans also saw a poignant interview with former Antrim captain Anto Finnegan. The 44-year-old was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) - a terminal neurological condition - in 2012.

Now confined to a wheelchair, his interview pitch-side before the Dublin/Tyrone match was broadcast on the stadium's big screen.

Earlier this summer the GAA star took part in a gruelling 90 mile pilgrimage of part of the Camino de Santiago to raise awareness of the crippling disease.

28 August, 2017 01:00 Northern Ireland news

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