TIME finally ran out on the comeback kings but there was some surprise that referee Michael Duffy didn’t add more than two minutes of injury time when Cork were making their customary late dash for the line.
The Rebels had broken the hearts of Tipperary, Kerry, Armagh and Galway with their refusal to accept defeat lightly and once again gave themselves a mountain to climb when falling 1-5 to 0-0 behind by the 20th minute.
Although they reduced that to four by half-time, the deficit was eight again with just six minutes remaining.
Suddenly though, when Kevin Hallissey goaled a minute later, it was down to four and Cork had the momentum.
Tyrone attempted to slow the charging train with a number of players needing treatment in that period and Cork manager Brian Cuthbert admitted that he felt with just a little more time his side would have won.
“I’m not going to give out about the referee but I thought there was a lot more time,” said Cuthbert.
“I couldn’t believe when I saw two minutes. There were definitely guys down in the second-half there for two minutes on their own. Every time we scored one or two of them went down so definitely I thought there’d be more time.
“In saying that I would point out that over the full hour Tyrone were probably the better team.”
Tyrone manager Raymond Munroe had been concerned all along that the media hype surrounding his charges would affect them and revealed that he had needed to issue a few sharp words at the interval, despite them being well on top.
“At half-time some of our players were congratulating themselves,” said Munroe. “They felt they had the game won. We had some stern words. We said we had to win the second half on the scoreboard.
“We had to dig deep. We knew four points wasn’t going to be enough at half-time. We had to take the Cork crowd out of it when they arrived in their droves towards the end.
“Cork were going to get a dominant period. It was about how much harm they would do us or how little harm we would let them do us. Thankfully we held out to the last,” he added.
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