GAA: Tyrone draw with Kerry but are relegated from Division One

Sean Cavanagh and Mattie Donnelly of Tyrone at the end of the game. �Press Eye
Sean Cavanagh and Mattie Donnelly of Tyrone at the end of the game. �Press Eye

Tyrone 0-17 Kerry 1-14

Tyrone produced a spirited performance to claim a draw with Kerry at Healy Park on Sunday but couldn’t avoid relegation to the second flight.

There was little to separate the sides throughout the opening half as Tyrone took a one point lead in at half time.

Playing without manager Mickey Harte on the sideline, the Red Hands performed well throughout the game defending deep in the opening half and hurting Kerry with swift counter-attacks.

Sean Cavanagh topped scored in the opening half with four pointed frees to his name while Peter Harte and Ronan McNabb also added fine efforts.

Kerry for their part relied on the free taking prowess of Bryan Sheehan to keep them in touch as Justin McMahon helped keep Kieran Donaghy quiet.

Donaghy grew into the game in the second half as Tyrone weren’t quite so cautious and Kerry improved greatly as a result.

Paul Geaney, a first half substitute for Kerry took advantage of Donaghy’s increased role, pilfering 1-2 in five second half minutes putting Kerry into the driving seat.

Tyrone spurned goal chances with Joe McMahon firing over and Sean Cavanagh firing wide, but got themselves back on terms thanks to the accuracy of Darren McCurry.

Kerry responded again to take the lead, before Tyrone, who believed they needed a two point win to progress, rattled the Kerry post in injury time.

Darren McCurry kicked the equaliser a minute later but it wasn’t enough, as Kerry held on and Tyrone faced up to life in Division Two.