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'We've served our punishment': Mickey Harte not expecting further sanctions after ugly Healy Park scenes between Tyrone and Dublin


Boiling point: Tyrone’s Conor Meyler and Dublin’s James McCarthy clash during Saturday’s game

Boiling point: Tyrone’s Conor Meyler and Dublin’s James McCarthy clash during Saturday’s game

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Boiling point: Tyrone’s Conor Meyler and Dublin’s James McCarthy clash during Saturday’s game

You'll hardly be surprised that neither Tyrone manager Mickey Harte or Dublin counterpart Dessie Farrell had a clear and uninterrupted view when things got hot and heavy in Healy Park at half-time.

However, a fan managed to get a bird's-eye view of proceedings and recorded it on their mobile phone. Within minutes, it was all over WhatsApp, to act as a natural accompaniment to the images captured on the RTÉ and Eir Sport cameras.

Either way, it was fairly serious stuff.

Dublin boss Farrell said: "All I will say is that we came up here to play football and that was needless what happened at half-time.

"I could not see it. There were a hundred people in the tunnel ahead of me."

And Tyrone manager Harte?

"I didn't see too much, there were just a lot of bodies in a confined space. Maybe that was a good thing, that nobody could get doing any damage to each other," he said.

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Not much will happen now. There will be the usual opprobrium and there could be some suspensions handed out, though the footage available is perhaps not definitive enough to make the charges stand up.

Either way, Harte feels it has been dealt with after Tyrone got a whisper that his All-Star defender Padraig Hampsey was to receive punishment during the half-time break.

"I wouldn't expect to lose anybody. We were the only ones who lost a man at half-time at all. Paudie Hampsey got a black card out of it. I think we've served our punishment," he said.

The league will always be the league and all that, but there was something almost freakish in how Tyrone turned a 19-point loss away to Galway the last time out into a three-point win over Dublin within six days.

"We were honest with each other, we looked into each other's soul and we said we are better than that," explained Harte.

"We just addressed what happened, that it was one of those days where, yes, things went against us, but we didn't give it the energy that the match deserved. So we felt this was a week to really build that energy.

"We really wanted a performance, the result was a real bonus."

He also had positive news on Cathal McShane's injury.

"It's good in so far as it's not as bad as it might have been," he said. "It's not good news that he's out for three months or more, but thankfully it isn't his season, and that's the good news about it."

Farrell fell to his first defeat here and his demeanour was one of a man who had just presided over a challenge match loss. Not much is going to get in on this Dublin team but certainly there is a sense that neither side have a whole load of regard for each other.

"You don't like to lose, full stop," said the Na Fianna man.

"It was a feisty affair but it is not the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination.

"It is just your competitive instincts, you don't like coming out the wrong end of those duels."

One area he might have done better with was the deployment of Jack McCaffrey. Despite making his way back from a muscular injury, he was sent on at half-time and had to be taken off before the end, soon after making one of his famous fast breaks past Darren McCurry that may have asked too much of the body.

"Yeah, we took him off. There was a slight concern with him. He flagged something with us, so rather than run the risk we said we'd get him out," said Farrell.

It appears he is taking an almost old-fashioned view of the league, with the eggs all in the Championship basket. It might be the most prudent approach.

"For us, it's play the games as they come. We were trying a couple of new lads there again and gave starts to some who hadn't started the previous game, so there's a little bit of that going on," he said.

"I think come the summer, that's more important than any particular result here in Omagh in winter. It's trying to get the balance right. We're looking at things but also trying to remain as competitive as we can."



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