Adrian Logan: Kerry were just good, Tyrone are fantastic
Published 22/09/2008 | 09:24
Without doubt the greatest All Ireland winning performance by a Tyrone team. A team packed with heroes in every department of the game.
This was a moment and an afternoon to savour - Tyrone were breathtaking in a five-star second half performance.
Even when Kerry hit back with four points in a row it was Tyrone who steadied and showed real class in the final 10 minutes, Kerry too often resorting to high tackles and low blows as their dream of three in a row ebbed away.
Referee Maurice Deegan was lenient, I felt, on at least a couple of occasions and it was a sorry finish for Kerry with Colin Cooper, in the end, lashing out and hitting Brian Dooher.
Kerry are better than that and they are a better team than yesterday’s display showed but, once more, when they faced Tyrone they were just second best.
It was a difficult time for Tyrone ahead of this final with John Devine’s father passing away on the eve of the match but this Tyrone team has always classed itself as a family and that bond was in clear evidence during the 70 minutes of this absorbing All Ireland final.
Before the game most pundits and experts said that Kerry would confirm themselves as the greatest team in the land but that, clearly, wasn’t the case.
Tyrone and their manager Mickey Harte can sit back and reflect on what was a magnificent day at the office. Three All Irelands in a single decade is an amazing effort and who knows where it will stop.
This was a day for Mickey Harte to savour particularly as earlier in the season some people had called for him to quit his post.
Yesterday, once again he showed himself as a master tactician, nullifying the threat of Ciaran Donaghy and Tommy
Walsh in attack and still allowing the likes of Brian McGuigan, Owen Mulligan and Kevin Hughes the opportunity to prove once more that they are players of the highest calibre.
There are just so many accolades you can hand this team. Sean Cavanagh has to be a nailed-on player of the year while Enda McGinley will certainly collect his first ever All Star this year.
And what can you say about the performance of Paschal McConnell drafted into goals after the loss of John Devine?
This is a Tyrone team that can continue to write its name in the history books and is a team well capable of winning more All Ireland titles.
Tyrone will also have another opportunity when their minors replay Mayo and the senior performance might just be enough to see them edge victory on October 5.
Let me put it very clear and simple.
Kerry were good All Ireland champions but Tyrone are great All Ireland champions.