If we’ve learned anything from 21st-century Gaelic football it is that Tyrone versus Kerry is always going to provide us with fireworks.
Sunday was no different as the pair met in round three of the 2020 Allianz Football League. Storm Ciara may have wreaked havoc on the Red Hands’ normal home venue of Healy Park but that didn’t stop these two going hammer and tongs for vital league points in Edendork.
Kerry had the better of the first-half exchanges, leading at the break 0-8 to 0-4, as Tyrone opted to sit back in the opening 35 minutes, relying on Niall Morgan and Darren McCurry to convert scores from placed balls.
Tyrone clawed back the four-point deficit with the first four scores of the second half. McCurry began to find his groove in the second-half playing on his home turf, kicking five points as Tyrone eeked out the one-point win on a final score of 0-14 to 0-13.
Both sides finished with 14 players with Peter Harte sent-off for Tyrone while David Clifford received his marching orders for Kerry late on. However, the manner with which the Kerry captain was sent off has incensed those watching on.
The Fossa man was his usual free-scoring self finishing the game with 0-6, three points of which came from play. However, late in the game, Clifford was dragged to the ground by Tyrone substitute Ben McDonnell.
McDonnell proceeded to pin the Kerry captain to the floor and stop him from regaining his footing. When order ewas eventually restored, referee Fergal Kelly opted to show both players yellow cards meaning Clifford saw the line late on, much to the player’s rage.
It’s an issue that has become a growing concern in Gaelic football with forwards repeatedly being penalised when really they haven’t done anything but been the victim of the dark arts of defending. Is it time for Croke Park to step in on this issue?
Two points up but a man down, what do you do?? Single out an opposition player on a yellow, drag him to the ground and even things up. Scandalous that officials dont cop onto this 🙈 #gaabeo pic.twitter.com/uOE8I3Yarg— David Herity (@DavidHerity) February 9, 2020