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Brawl shame as Tyrone power past Dublin in crazy conditions


Dublin's Paul Mannion with Tyrone's Ronan McNamee ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Dublin's Paul Mannion with Tyrone's Ronan McNamee ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Dublin's Paul Mannion with Tyrone's Ronan McNamee ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Dublin and Tyrone players were involved in an ugly tunnel brawl at half-time during their Allianz League clash at Healy Park.

As the teams went in level at half time - Tyrone 0-5 Dublin 1-2 - they came together in the Healy Park tunnel and a mass brawl broke out. TV coverage showed punches being traded in an ugly incident that was reminiscent of 'The Battle of Omagh' in 2006.

"That is not just handbags. There is a lot of punches being thrown in there. I'd say there will be a lot of fellas with sore jaws tomorrow," remarked Colm O'Rourke during RTE's half-time coverage. "Dublin and Tyrone don't like each other very much and that is really serious stuff."

Tyrone would go on to upset the formbook when they produced an outstanding display in awful conditions to beat the five-in-a-row All Ireland champions.

It was a contest that was level on six occasions with defender Rory Brennan's goal proving to be the crucial score.

Dublin got off to the perfect start in the second minute when Colm Basquel, a late replacement for John Small, took a pass from Brian Howard before crashing it to the roof of the net.

Conditions were terrible and that was highlighted in the 12th minute when a shot from Dean Rock that looked on target finished up nearly hitting the corner flag. Moments later Tyrone opened their account with a well taken Conor Meyler point into the wind. Tyrone dropped four efforts short into the arms of Dublin keeper Evan Comerford before centre half back Rory Brennan reduced the deficit to the minimum.

In the 19th minute Dublin got their first point when Brian Fenton blasted over.

Tyrone though were playing well despite the conditions with Peter Harte and Darren McCurry combining for the impressive Liam Rafferty to fist a point.

Niall Morgan then landed an unbelievable free from fully 47m out into the elements to level matters in the 22nd minute. Rock converted a 20m free after full forward Ciaran Kilkenny had been fouled but almost immediately Tyrone were level with the score of the half. A number of players were involved in the build up with Frank Burns finding Harte who turned sharply to split the posts.

Then came the brawl in the tunnel, which led to the referee black carding Padraig Hampsey.

A great score from Harte edged Tyrone in front on the restart.

Niall Scully from play and Rock from a free put Dublin two ahead but Tyrone replied with a McCurry free and another monster effort from keeper Morgan.

A 50m free from Morgan put Tyrone in front and after Rock levelled a fourth Morgan score had the hosts in front again. By that stage Hampsey was back on the field while Dublin were down to 14 after Scully was black carded.

A Rock free levelled before the vital score arrived when a great move ended with Brennan blasting to the roof of the net.

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-4, 4F), M Cassidy, R McNamee, L Rafferty (0-1), M McKernan, R Brennan (1-1), M O Neill, C Cavanagh, P Hampsey, F Burns, N Sludden, D McCurry (0-1, 1F), P Harte (0-2), B Kennedy, C Meyler (0-1) Subs: B McDonnell for Kennedy, T McCann for O Neill , K Coney for Sludden, R O Neill for McKernan, N Kelly for Hampsey

Dublin: E Comerford, M Fitzsimons, E O Brien, D Byrne, E Murchan, C Basquel (1-0), C O Shea, (0-1) B Fenton,(0-1) J McCarthy, B Howard, S Bugler, N Scully(0-1) P Mannion, C Kilkenny, D Rock (0-4, 4F) Subs:J McCaffrey for O Brien, K McManamon for Bugler, J Small for Fitzsimons , C Costello for Basquel, A Byrne for McCaffrey

Referee: C Reilly (Meath)

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