Red Hands secure last-gasp win over the Kingdom

Tyrone 1-11 Kerry 1-10

Tyrone 1-11 Kerry 1-10

Tyrone’s remarkable last-gasp win over fierce rivals Kerry has left the relegation battle wide open, with a fascinating final day of action to come in a fortnight.

The Cavanagh brothers took centre stage at Healy Park. Former Footballer of the Year Sean made his first start in eight months and made a major contribution to this memorable result, while it was younger sibling Colm who grabbed a sensational stoppage time goal to stun the Kingdom.

Now a win over Dublin will secure the Red Hands’ Division One status, while Kerry must defeat Monaghan to be sure of staying in the top grade.

Tyrone eased into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead with Tommy McGuigan and Sean Cavanagh each hitting two points.

Donnacha Walsh and the impressive David Moran were on target for the Kingdom, before Darran O’Sullivan came off the bench to add a much-needed spark to the Kerry attack, kicking an excellent point with his first touch.

Owen Mulligan nudged Tyrone 0-6 to 0-3 ahead, but the Kingdom claimed the final four points of the half, through Walsh, Moran, Kieran Donaghy and Colm Cooper.

The emergence of Seamus Scanlon as a major influence in midfield was a key factor in Kerry’s dominance of the closing stages of the half.

The Red Hands could have had a goal, but Cavanagh’s shot was superbly saved by Brendan Kealy.

Kerry led by 0-7 to 0-6 at the break, and Tyrone were reduced to 14 men three minutes into the second half when defender Cathal McCarron picked up a second yellow card.

And the Kingdom struck immediately for a goal. Declan O’Sullivan darted through the middle, swapped passes with Colm Cooper, and finished the return to the net past Pascal McConnell.

The Red Hands responded with a couple of frees from McGuigan and Martin Penrose, but Kerry were always able to keep their noses in front.

A superb score sliced over from long range by Darran O’Sullivan was the pick of some excellent Kerry scores which piled the pressure on the Red Hands as gthe game slipped into its final quarter.

As the desperation grew, a series of high balls aimed in the direction of full forward Aidan Cassidy were gratefully dealt with by the safe hands of confident goalkeeper Brendan Kealy.

A straight red card to Aidan O’Mahony reduced Kerry to 14 with six minutes to play, and they paid the price in the fourth minute of stoppage time when Colm Cavanagh fisted home a sensational winner.

Tyrone: P McConnell, D Carlin, J McMahon, C McCarron, D Harte, C Gormley, R McMenamin, A Cassidy, C Cavanagh (1-0), K Coney, S Cavanagh (0-2), P Harte, T McGuigan (0-3, 2f), M Penrose (0-4, 3f), O Mulligan (0-2, 1f).

Subs: P Jordan for McMenamin (h-t), B McGuigan for T McGuigan (52), S O’Neill for Coney (59)

Kerry: B Kealy, P Reidy, T Griffin, T O’Sullivan, M O Se, A O’Mahony, K Young, S Scanlon, A Maher, D Moran (0-3, 1f), Declan O’Sullivan (1-0), D Walsh (0-2), C Cooper (0-2, 1f), K Donaghy (0-1), K O’Leary.

Subs: Darran O’Sullivan (0-2) for O’Leary (20), D O’Callaghan for Walsh (48), B Sheehan for Maher (54), A O’Connell for Reidy (62)

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)

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