Allianz FL D1: Tyrone claim the spoils
Allianz Football League Division One
Courtesy of GAA.ie
TYRONE 0-14 KERRY 0-13
By Orla Bannon at Edendork
Darren McCurry scored six points on his home pitch with both teams finishing with 14 players as Tyrone edged a tight Allianz Football League tussle in Edendork.
David Clifford, who matched McCurry's total of 0-6, picked up a second yellow card in the 66th minute having been booked in the first half leaving Kerry without their scorer-in-chief at a critical stage when they badly needed an equalising score.
Peter Harte was sent-off for Tyrone seven minutes earlier, also for two yellows, and for a while it was 13-a-side with Ronan McNamee and Jack Barry receiving 10 minutes in the bin.
An unplayable pitch in Healy Park in Omagh meant an early morning switch to east Tyrone and despite the wet, windy conditions the surface held up well.
The teams served up a game that was more entertaining than the weather deserved.
Kerry had the wind in the first half, but critically only held a four-point lead, 0-8 to 0-4, at the break. It wasn't enough.
Tyrone quickly set about eating into that deficit in the third quarter and it was the returning Cathal McShane who celebrated his decision to stay at home rather than choose a career in AFL, who kicked the equaliser after 51 minutes.
Niall Morgan, who like McCurry was enjoying himself on his home pitch, nailed a monster free from near the sideline to put Tyrone in front for the first time a minute later and from there, they never looked back.
Kerry had the aid of a strong wind in the first half but may have felt the 0-8 to 0-4 cushion wasn't enough.
It was a case of Edendork four, Kerry eight, as only Tyrone's Edendork men managed to score in the first half. Goalkeeper Niall Morgan with three frees and Darren McCurry with the other.
Sean O'Shea opened the scoring with a second-minute free and although Morgan levelled it after a foul on Niall Sludden, Kerry had a good spell with four points in a six-minute spell – three of them from play.
David Clifford was off balance but pointed from 35 metres and added a free before O'Shea scored from a good turnover won by the visitors.
Micheal Burns scored the pick of the lot from distance to stretch the lead to 0-5 to 0-1 after 15 minutes.
Paul Geaney carved out a very good goal chance after 20 minutes when Clifford robbed Tiernan McCann.
He steamed through the middle but Morgan came out and made himself big, blocking the low shot with his legs and pushing it out for a '45'. It was the only real goal chance of the first half.
Clifford scored the only point from play that was scored in the second quarter, jinking to find space and scoring with the minimum of effort while Tyrone were relying on frees to keep them in it against the strong wind.
Tyrone's ambition to wipe out Kerry's lead as quickly as possible ensured a lively second half.
Rory Brennan, Conor Meyler (from a mark), McCurry and Tiernan McCann chipped over scores with Tyrone showing real purpose.
Kerry could easily feel they deserved a share of the spoils, but an impressive sideline conversion from McCurry and his offensive mark were just about enough to edge the two points for Tyrone.
Scorers for Tyrone: D McCurry 0-6 (3fs, 1m), N Morgan 0-4 (4fs), T McCann, R Brennan 0-1 each, C McShane 0-1 (f), C Meyler 0-1 (m).
Scorers for Kerry: D Clifford 0-6 (2fs, 1m), S O'Shea 0-6 (5fs), M Burns 0-1.
TYRONE: N Morgan; N Kelly, R McNamee, L Rafferty; T McCann, R Brennan, P Harte; C Cavanagh, C Kilpatrick; K McGeary, N Sludden, D McCurry; D Kerr, F Burns, C Meyler.
Subs: C McShane for Kerr (40), K Coney for Kelly (47), B McDonnell for Kilpatrick (61), HP McGeary for Burns (69), M Cassidy for McCann (70).
KERRY: S Ryan; J Foley, T Morley, G O'Sullivan; P Murphy, G Crowley, G White; L Kearney, J Barry; M Burns, S O'Shea, S O'Brien; K Spillane, D Clifford, P Geaney.
Subs: D Moynihan for O'Brien (23), T O'Sullivan for Spillane (45), D O'Connor for Burns (53), T Walsh for Kearney (67), T Brosnan for White (70).
REFEREE: Fergal Kelly (Longford).