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Masters Create History

Sunday 17.09.2023
Team Talk Mag
County


 

Tyrone Masters travelled to Roscommon on Saturday afternoon to take on Kerry in the All Ireland final knowing that a win would not only take the title but would secure a three in a row run of victories.

The team lined out as selected and opted to play into the breeze in the first half. That decision had a major impact on the outcome of the game as wind assisted Kerry found it difficult to penetrate the Tyrone rearguard where Conor Gormley and Aidan Brady stood like the twin towers and repelled all that Kerry could throw at them. They were ably assisted by tenacious wing backs Gary Coney and Colm Mc Gurk and the hard working corner men Damian Mc Devitt and Ciaran Gourley.

The Tyrone midfield pairing of Barry Collins and Marty Mc Grath were imperious and Kerry struggled to cope with their work rate and high fielding. The physical exchanges in the midfield sector were tough and uncompromising but it was the Tyrone pair who won that vital battle.

Up front Kildress duo Damien Kelly and Marty Grimes covered every inch of ground over the course of the hour. They made themselves constantly available to their team mates and were very often the first line of defence when Kerry sought to break from the back. Man of the match and birthday boy Michael Anderson had a second half he will never forget with some incredible scores from distance, every one of which edged his team closer to the title. Stevie O’Neill, majestic as always, played some incredible passes to inside men as well as hitting the final score of the match.Eoin Bradley and Niall Gormley as usual caused all sorts of problems for the Kerry defence with their ability to win ball and drive at the defence.

 

Surprisingly over the course of the hour Tyrone only used one sub. Martin Brannigan came on for Colm Mc Gurk and made an instant impression. His introduction was seamless and his playing in the half back line worked treat.

Kerry opened the scoring with an Aidan O’Mahony point after six minutes. Even at that stage Tyrone were enjoying lots of possession but they failed to capitalise on it against the breeze. Niall Gormley converted a free to tie the game and points from Mickey Anderson and Damien Kelly put Tyrone two clear. Kerry responded with points from Mark Crowley and Kevin Lynch to tie the game on twenty seven minutes before what looked like a perfectly good Tyrone goal from the industrious Martin Grimes was disallowed for square ball.

In spite of that Tyrone went in at the break leading 0-4 to 0-3 following another converted Niall Gormley free and Kerry knew a big improvement was required in the second half if they were to stay in the game.

Over the years we have often watched Stephen O’Neill fire over wonder scores for Tyrone. This time we were treated to a master class in passing as his pin point accuracy split open the Kerry defence and created scoring opportunities for his colleagues. Six points in a row from Tyrone between the second and fourteenth minutes of the second half effectively decided the outcome of the game with Marty Mc Grath and Mickey Anderson (5) on target,

Three points in a row from the boot of John O’Connor gave Kerry hope but a brace of points from Tyrone extinguished that as Damien Kelly and a cracker from Stevie O’Neill sealed a deserved 0-12 to 0-6 win for Joe Leonard’s and Eugene Bradley’s team.

Tyrone scorers: Mickey Anderson 0-6, Niall Gormley 0-2, Damien Kelly 0-2,  Marty Mc Grath 0-1, Stevie O’Neill 0-1.

Kerry scorers: John O’Connor 0-3, Aidan O’Mahony 0-1, Kevin Lynch 0-1, Mark Crowley 0-1

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