Tyrone in relegation danger after defeat in Kerry

Kingdom find scoring touch to put Tyrone in the drop zone

Kerry and Tyrone players tussle during Sunday's Allianz Football League Division 1 match in Killarney PICTURE: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile (Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)
Allianz Football League Division One, round five
Kerry 0-18 Tyrone 1-11

KERRY finally found their scoring touch in Killarney to put Tyrone back in a spot of relegation bother ahead of the final two rounds.

While the Red Hands now face a must-win clash with Monaghan in Omagh in two weeks’ time, the Kingdom recovered well from a bad thrashing by Dublin in Croke Park to move into a share of second in the table alongside Mayo and Dublin.

“There were a lot of the things we were looking for today like better attitude and work-rate and we were better on the kick-outs,” said Kerry boss Jack O’Connor.

‘’We got a bit sloppy near the end, kicked away a bit of ball. Obviously, they got the goal and that gave them a bit of heart, but I felt the game was a bit closer than it should have been.

“We have to learn from that, I think we were still trying to kick the ball through the lines in the second half when the surface had got greasy from the half-time shower.

“Just something to learn there, we need to take that into consideration, maybe put the ball through the hands more than kicking it because there were times there in the second half, you said the pass is on but it just skidded off the surface. I’d say it happened four or five times, that just kept Tyrone in the game to a degree.”

A first-half melee, sparked by an incident involving Kerry talisman David Clifford was the main talking point on the Tyrone side post-match.

Team coach Collie Holmes took media duties with Brian Dooher having to leave straight after the final whistle and had plenty to say on that flashpoint.

“People who look at these things might look at how it started in the first place,” Holmes said.

“We got a mark, and ended up playing on from it, so how all the stuff that happened in between happened is something to look at, who was first in, second in.

“We have been on the wrong end of those calls more than enough recently. I don’t know if it will be looked at or not. Our boys got a bit of a kick out of it, I suppose they did too, but they’re at home, so maybe they got a bigger lift out of it, it gets their crowd going.”

Holmes admitted that the visit of Monaghan to Healy Park will be huge but the return of Kieran McGeary and Cathal McShane were seen as positives.

“There are a lot of soft tissue injuries that teams are dealing with at the moment as can be seen from some of the other matches this weekend.

“Micheal McKernan is dealing with a hand issue and Aidan Clarke is dealing with a stamp on the foot. Frank Burns is still to come back, though, and having the week off now will be good for getting everyone assessed ahead of the last two games.”

Tyrone had a reasonably solid start against the breeze in leading by 0-3 to 0-1 after 12 minutes but the ruckus near the dug-outs in the middle of the first half saw the temperature rise.

David Clifford, Conn Kilpatrick and Padraig Hampsey could consider themselves lucky not to have received some sanction for the incident that led to a prolonged period of jersey pulling.

David Goldrick eventually issued yellow cards to Paudie Clifford and Dara Moynihan for the hosts and Peter Harte for Tyrone.

Harte only lasted a few more minutes before being taken off in the 22nd minute for Ruairí Canavan as Kerry’s better sharpness started to tell with Gavin White in defence and Diarmuid O’Connor at midfield exploiting a lot of the space they were given.

A run of Kingdom points led to a lead of 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time for the hosts.

A 44th-minute point from Darragh Canavan was Tyrone’s first-second-half score as they only managed a further two scores in the period up until the 64th minute.

Trailing 0-17 to 0-9, Tyrone were given an unlikely boost when Seanie O’Donnell passed to Ciaran Daly for the only goal of the game.

The visitors played in another high ball in search of another goal but it came to no good and Niall Morgan’s 45 in injury-time was the final score of proceedings.

Kerry S Ryan; G O’Sullivan, J Foley, P Murphy; Sean O’Brien (0-1), T Morley, G White; D O’Connor, J O’Connor; A Spillane (0-1), P Clifford (0-3), C Geaney; D Clifford (0-8, 0-6 frees), S O’Shea (0-4, 0-1 free), D Moynihan (0-1)

Subs T Brosnan for G Geaney (H/T), R Buckley for A Spillane (51), S Okunbar for Sean O’Brien (61), Stephen O’Brien for D Moynihan (62), D Roche for P Clifford (66) and D Casey for J Foley (Temp, 70-Finish)

Yellow cards P Clifford and D Moynihan (both 17), D Clifford (44)

Tyrone N Morgan (0-1, 45); C Devlin, P Hampsey, C Quinn; B Cullen (0-1), P Harte, N Devlin; B Kennedy, C Kilpatrick (0-1); C Daly (1-1), D Mulgrew, J Oguz; D McCurry (0-2, 0-1 free), D Canavan (0-3), S O’Donnell (0-1)

Subs R Canavan (0-1) for P Harte (22), K McGeary for D Mulgrew (inj, 39), A Donaghy for C Kilpatrick (42), C McShane for D Canavan (62), L McGarrity for D McCurry (66)

Yellow cards P Harte (17), L McGarrity (68)

Referee D Goldrick (Meath)