Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly celebrates at O'Neill's Healy Park. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly celebrates at O'Neill's Healy Park. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Allianz FL D1: Tyrone edge out Kerry

Allianz Football League Division One

Tyrone 1-15 Kerry 2-9

By Declan Bogue at O'Neill's Healy Park

Two points for Tyrone to creep a little bit up the table, but so much more was achieved in Omagh.

Kerry were held scoreless for the last 20 minutes as all the failings of Tyrone that were so obvious this year were largely eradicated.

But really the way the game started, it felt a miracle that they were within striking distance after the way the opening quarter unfolded.

Somehow, Tyrone made it to the break on level terms.

There was an element of fortune in that Tyrone registered a fortuitous goal.

But Ryan had distinguished himself with two fine saves either side of that from Conn Kilpatrick and Darragh Canavan, both of whom had used dummies and kept their shot low along the deck, only for the Rathmore man to get down low in rapid time.

In the second minute, Sean O’Shea was blocked down for a shot and took his own rebound to get closer to Niall Morgan’s goal, thrashing a shot into the roof of the net.

It was followed by a David Clifford point that almost dropped from the skies like a comet, a Tom O’Sullivan beauty with the outside of his boot and a free that was moved in for dissent that O’Shea converted.

Kerry had big momentum, but nature intervened with a heavy storm. As the rain fell, supporters fled for cover, and the pace of the game slowed.

In such trying conditions, strong men were needed. None were as effective as Mattie Donnelly. The former captain here played 80 minutes of hard football and scored three points from play. It raises the question of why he hadn’t been used to date.

Kerry got a second goal with Paul Murphy sneaking through the cover in the 47th minute, but they were only to score 0-2 thereafter.

A special point came from Darragh Canavan when he chased a ball out to the sideline, pursued by Jason Foley. A stepover and carry later, he was fisting over the bar.

Thereafter followed a brilliant long-distance free from Darren McCurry, a kickout that went straight to Donnelly and he carried before steering over.

The last two points were from the dead ball skills of Ruairí Canavan, converting fouls on Michael McKernan and his brother Darragh.

Tyrone are back. They never went anywhere anyway.

Scorers for Tyrone: B Kennedy 1-0, M Donnelly 0-3, D McCurry 0-3 (3fs), D Canavan 0-2, R Canavan 0-2 (2fs), C Quinn, P Harte, C Kilpatrick, D Mulgrew, and J Oguz 0-1 each

Scorers for Kerry: S O’Shea 1-2 (1f), P Murphy 1-0, D Clifford 0-3 (2fs), T Brosnan 0-2 (1m), T O’Sullivan and D O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Tyrone: N Morgan; M McKernan, P Hampsey, C Quinn; C Meyler, C Munroe, P Harte; B Kennedy, C Kilpatrick; F Burns, D Mulgrew, J Oguz; D McCurry, M Donnelly, D Canavan.

Subs: N Sludden for Mulgrew (42m), N Devlin for Munroe (52m), R Canavan for McCurry (69m), R Donnelly for Kennedy (72m).

Kerry: S Ryan; G O’Sullivan, J Foley, T O’Sullivan; P Warren, T Morley, P Murphy; S Okunbor, J Barry; D Moynihan, S O’Shea, T Brosnan; P Clifford, D Clifford, D Roche.

Subs: D O’Sullivan for Roche (HT), R Murphy for Brosnan (46m), M Burns for P Clifford (54m) G Horan for Okunbor (58m).

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).