David Clifford sees red as Kerry squeezed out by Tyrone

A late change of venue, red cards shown to David Clifford and Peter Harte, and a narrowest of wins for Tyrone in this weird and far from wonderful Allianz Football League Division One game.

David Clifford sees red as Kerry squeezed out by Tyrone

Tyrone 0-14 - Kerry0-13

A late change of venue, red cards shown to David Clifford and Peter Harte, and a narrowest of wins for Tyrone in this weird and far from wonderful Allianz Football League Division One game.

It may have been windy and wet at Pairc Arthur Mallon on Sunday afternoon but it was anything but dull.

The drama started long before throw-in with Healy Park in Omagh deemed unplayable after an 8.30am inspection and Edendork confirmed as a Plan B shortly after. There were few other club grounds with a pitch able to bear the strain on such a wet weekend.

Cue a mad scramble by teams, officials, broadcasters and supporters, some from Kerry who had made the decision to stay overnight beforehand in Omagh. Not ideal circumstances, then, but surely better than pulling the plug altogether.

The game itself couldn't help but be framed by Storm Ciara.

The lack of any covered stands only added to the windswept nature of the day and, while it blew diagonally across the pitch, it did so in favour of Kerry in a first-half which ended with Tyrone having been held scoreless from play.

That wasn't the big deal it normally would be. Four frees, three of them from goalkeeper Niall Morgan, kept the hosts in the hunt on the change of ends with Kerry only managing twice that haul and passing up the chance of greater reward.

The Kingdom landed some superb points with that breeze at their backs but they kicked another three wide and one into the arms of Morgan. Add in a Morgan save from a Paul Geaney goalbound shot and that's a lot of regrets for the day in it.

All the more so when Tyrone reeled off a quartet of unanswered points to bring them level inside the first ten minutes of the second period. Credit to Kerry, then, who twice drew level in the next ten-minute period after Tyrone assumed one-point leads.

The visitors weren't hindered by the loss to Tyrone of Peter Harte for a second bookable offence on the hour but they suffered a particularly grievous blow of their own when the always dangerous Clifford had his day ended for his own pair of 'offences'.

The second yellow looked harsh with the Fossa forward bumped and jostled and wrestled to the ground during a break in play only to find himself and Tyrone's Ben McDonnell punished with a yellow card apiece. He was far from happy walking off.

Add in a black card on each side, for Jack Barry and Ronan McNamee, between the two reds and it made for an angsty end to the game which ended with Tyrone just about clinging to the bare minimum advantage at the end.

Scorers for Tyrone: D McCurry (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 mark, 0-1 sideline); N Morgan (0-4 frees); T McCann, R Brennan (both 0-1); C Meyler (0-1 mark); C McShane (0-1 free).

Scorers for Kerry: D Clifford ( 0-6, 0-2 frees, 0-1 mark); S O'Shea (0-6, 0-5 frees); M Burns (0-1).

Tyrone: N Morgan; L Rafferty, R McNamee, R Brennan; T McCann, N Kelly, P Harte; C Cavanagh, C Kilpatrick; F Burns, N Sludden, C Meyler; D McCurry, D Kerr, K McGeary. Subs: C McShane for Kerr (42); K Coney for Kelly (48); B McDonnell for Kilpatrick (61); HP McGeary for Burns (70); M Cassidy for McCann (76).

Kerry: S Ryan, G White, J Foley, T Morley; P Murphy, G Crowley, G O'Sullivan; J Barry, L Kearney; M Burns, S O'Shea, S O'Brien; P Geaney, D Clifford, K Spillane. Subs: D Moynihan for O'Brien (26); T O'Sullivan for Spillane (45); D O'Connor for Burns (54); T Walsh for Kearney (68); T Brosnan for White (73).

Referee: F Kelly (Longford).

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