Kerry and Tyrone will lock horns once more tomorrow
Although Kerry and Tyrone only met for the first time in the championship in 1986, the rivalry between the counties is intense.
In a rivalry that has spanned the first fifteen years of the 21st century, Mickey Harte and Tyrone got under the skin of football’s aristocrats by deploying tactics that were both innovative and controversial.
Tyrone’s victories in 2003, 2005 and 2008 challenged Kerry’s traditional values and changed the way in which the Kingdom approached the game.
Here are five moments we believe defined this bitter rivalry.
The Tyrone swarm during 2003 All Ireland Semi Final
The 2003 All Ireland Semi Final between the counties set the tone for the decade ahead. Kerry came into the game having lost the 2002 decider to an Armagh side, and as a result, many believed that the Kingdom had learned their lesson and could overcome the blanket defence.
However Kerry were not prepared for the intensity that Tyrone brought to the game. Time after time Kerry players were surrounded by their opponents as they attempted to carry the ball.
Pat Spillane’s description of Tyrone’s game plan as ‘puke football’ after the 2003 semi final
A feature of the 2003 semi final was the manner in which the Tyrone tactically fouled Kerry’s players as they attempted to transition the ball from defence to attack. The result was that Kerry could not find any rhythm, as their momentum was constantly thwarted.
In the aftermath of the 2003 semi final, Pat Spillane took to the airwaves on the Sunday Game to describe such a strategy as ‘puke football’.
Peter Canavan’s goal in the 2005 All Ireland Final
The 2005 clash was arguably one of the best finals of all time. However it was not without its controversy after Colm Cooper received a blow to the face, impacting on his performance on the day.
Nevertheless the final will be remembered for Peter’s Canavan’s well taken goal at the end of the first half
Brian Dooher’s point in the 2008 All Ireland Final
Despite trailing by a point at half time, Tyrone defeated Kerry for the third time in the 2008 final. Kerry seemed on top for much of the first half, but were denied two goal scoring opportunities by Tyrone keeper Pascal McConnell.
However Tyrone were able to keep in touch, and this inspirational point put Tyrone on the road to victory.
2012 All Ireland Qualifier
Kerry exacted some revenge in a qualifier game in Killarney in 2012. The kingdom dominated from the start and ultimately won by ten points.
However it was the manner in which the Kerry supports showed their solidarity with Mickey Harte after his daughter was murdered in January 2011, that will be remembered most.
Alan Drumm, Pundit Arena