Jack O'Connor is aiming to steer Kerry to victory over Tyrone today. INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

As It Happened: Kerry v Tyrone, All-Ireland SFC round three qualifier

They have won seven of the last nine All-Ireland senior football titles between them but for either Kerry or Tyrone, today would represent the end of the 2012 championship road. Here’s how it all unfolded.

It was arguably the biggest game in the history of the All-Ireland football qualifiers since their inception in 2001, with the heavyweight forces of Kerry and Tyrone going toe to toe in Fitzgerald Stadium.

We were live from Killarney and went minute by minute to record all the action.

Send us your thoughts and comments on tonight’s action. E-mail, tweet us@thescore_iefind us on Facebook, or leave a comment below.

We’re just under half an hour away from throw-in at Fitzgerald Stadium for a potentially cracking All-Ireland qualifier tie as Kerry face Tyrone. Kerry are out on the field warming up but no sign of Tyrone as of yet. Here’s all you need to know about today’s match.

No late Kerry changes as of yet to report but some speculation going around that Kieran O’Leary may start. Here’s the line-up as we have it at the moment.

KERRY SF: Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin); Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore), Shane Enright (Tarbert); Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht), Eoin Brosnan (Dr Crokes), Killian Young (Renard);  Anthony Maher (Duagh), Bryan Sheehan (St Mary’s); Paul Galvin (Finuge), Declan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh Na Dromada), Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane); James O’Donoghue (Legion), Colm Cooper (Captain) (Dr Crokes),  Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks).

And here’s the Tyrone team for the game. They welcome Stephen O’Neill back into their attack instead of Jonathan Lafferty in the only switch from the team that defeated Roscommon last week.

TYRONE SF: Pascal McConnell (Newtownstewart); Aidan McCrory (Errigal Ciaran), Conor Clarke (Omagh), Dermot Carlin (Killyclogher); Cathal McCarron (Dromore), Conor Gormley (Carrickmore), Sean O’Neill (Dromore); Joe McMahon (Omagh), Colm Cavanagh (Moy); Mattie Donnelly (Trillick), Mark Donnelly (Carrickmore), Peter Harte (Errigal Ciaran); Martin Penrose (Carrickmore), Stephen O’Neill (Clann na Gael), Owen Mulligan (Cookstown).

There’s a huge crowd starting to stream into Fitzgerald Stadium with plenty already in situ just under twenty minutes from throw-in. The atmosphere has been building around Killarney from early this afternoon with a sizable Tyrone contingent having travelled down south. There were some concerns expressed that this game might be delayed due to large volumes of supporters in attendance but no word on that front as of yet. At the moment, we’re getting set to go at 5pm when Meath referee David Coldrick throws in the ball.

Tyrone will start as selected. They’re currently on the field warming up while Kerry have just re-emerged from the dressing rooms and received a rapturous reception from their supporters.

It’s unchartered territory for Tyrone traveling here today for their first senior football championship game on Kingdom soil. But of course they have dominated recent championship clashes between the sides triumphing in the 2003 All-Ireland semi-final and the All-Ireland finals of 2005 and 2008.

And Kerry will also start as selected during the week. There’s a brilliant atmosphere developing here in the warm sunshine. The pitch looks in fantastic condition and we’re almost set to go for a contest that has huge potential.

The national anthem is playing, excitement is building and we’re almost set for this titanic clash.

And there are late Tyrone changes with Darren McCurry, the youngster who excelled when he came on last week against Roscommon, in for Stephen O’Neill at full-forward. Also Ronan McNamee is into the defence for Cathal McCarron.

Kerry 0-1 Tyrone 0-0: 2 mins – Declan O’Sullivan kicks Kerry into an early lead with a fine point off his left. Bright start by Kerry with Kieran Donaghy having an earlier chance to score but he shot wide.

Kerry 0-2 Tyrone 0-1: 5 mins – Tyrone draw level quickly after an errant pass by Shane Enright is seized by Peter Harte who sets up midfielder Colm Cavanagh to hit a brilliant point off the outside of his right boot. But then Kerry respond with Colm Cooper profiting from great work by Paul Galvin to curl over a point. A frenetic opening to the game and interesting to note that Peter Harte is centre-back and Conor Gormley at full-back for Tyrone.

Kerry 0-3 Tyrone 0-1: 6 mins – Kerry move two points ahead when Bryan Sheehan converts a close-range free after James O’Donoghue was fouled by Tyrone’s Conor Clarke.

Very poor wide there for Tyrone by wing-back Sean O’Neill from close range after he was superbly picked out by a cross field Joe McMahon ball.

And the first yellow card of the game has been shown to Tyrone defender Conor Gormley for a foul on Colm Cooper. There’s plenty intensity and pace to the early exchanges but it’s Kerry who have settled better.

Tyrone blood substitute sees Ryan McMenamin in at corner-back for Dermot Carlin.

Kerry 0-3 Tyrone 0-2: 13 mins – Fine point by Tyrone defender Conor Clarke after good patient build-up by the Red Hands as they produced some intricate passes.

There’s plenty of hard hitting going on in this match already. Tyrone’s Martin Penrose and Kerry’s Shane Enright both tangled with each other there, with both players subsequently being booked by David Coldrick. The game has become scrappy now with frequent stoppages.

There is some serious needle creeping into this game with flash points developing all over the pitch. Ronan McNamee has been involved in a few of them and the Tyrone defender has just been booked with Kerry’s Paul Galvin joining him in being shown a yellow card. 19 minutes elapsed and we already have five yellow cards. The home supporters are not happy with some of Coldrick’s decisions so far.

And two more yellow cards as well with Tyrone’s Colm Cavanagh and Kerry’s Kieran Donaghy also being cautioned.

Kerry 0-4 Tyrone 0-2: 22 mins – After all those physical exchanges, we’ve finally had another point registered on the scoreboard. Bryan Sheehan sweeps over a free for Kerry after James O’Donoghue had been fouled. It’s tight and tense so far with Kerry just about edging it.

Kerry spurn a scoring chance after Kieran Donaghy offloads to Colm Cooper on the burst and as he zips in from the left wing, his fisted attempt strikes the upright.

Kerry 0-5 Tyrone 0-2: 25 mins – But then James O’Donoghue shows the way in lofting over a beautiful point for Kerry after Tomás Ó Sé, Colm Cooper and Donnchadh Walsh had fashioned the move. Tyrone are trailing by three points against the wind but are employing the short kick out tactic successfully to claim possession. Scoring is proving a problem though with their main hit men like Owen Mulligan and Martin Penrose struggling to get free.

Kerry hit the upright for the second time in this game with Kieran Donaghy on this occasion seeing his shot from the right wing hit the woodwork.

Anthony Maher has been in towering form at midfield so far for Kerry while up front Colm Cooper and James O’Donoghue are looking really sharp and inventive. But they are not capitalizing on their dominance with Walsh’s weak effort falling into the arms of Pascal McConnell there. 29 minutes have elapsed.

Not that Tyrone are enjoying much fortune at the other end as Owen Mulligan gets a rare chance to shoot but his effort flies across the goal and wide. At the opposite end Bryan Sheehan rushes his shot and it goes off target.

Kerry 0-7 Tyrone 0-2: 31 mins – That’s more heartening for Kerry as Declan O’Sullivan fires over a superb point from the left wing and then Paul Galvin notches his first point of the game after Donaghy releases the ball to him following a fine delivery by Cooper. Kerry are worth that advantage heading towards half-time.

Kerry 0-8 Tyrone 0-2: 33 mins – Another excellent point for Kerry with Colm Cooper scoring off his right. A change to the Tyrone defence sees Cathal McCarron brought in for McNamee.

Kerry 0-8 Tyrone 0-4: 36 mins – That could be two crucial points for Tyrone. Teenager Darren McCurry has been starved of possession but he knows where the posts are and flights over a lovely score before Penrose then points a free.

Correction to that earlier Tyrone change, it was Damian McCaul in for McNamee and they’ve also brought on Aidan Cassidy for Mattie Donnelly.

HALF-TIME: Kerry 0-8 Tyrone 0-4 – That’s it at the break, Kerry enjoying a four-point advantage as the two teams head for the dressing-rooms.

Certainly Kerry will be the more satisfied side and they are deserving of that advantage. Their big names like Cooper and O’Sullivan in attack look really up for this clash while Anthony Maher and James O’Donoghue are catching the eye with their influential displays. The performance of their defence has been really impressive as reflected by the fact that they have restricted the Tyrone starting attack to just a single point from play and that was courtesy of Darren McCurry in the 35th minute.

Tyrone will not be too unhappy at the break considering how dominant Kerry were for phases during that first-half. They’re finding scores hard to come by against a compact Kerry defence but that two-point salvo in first-half injury-time could be very significant. They’re only four points adrift now which is a more manageable deficit.  Yet the fact that they have already made three substitutions is indicative of some of the problems they are facing around the pitch, particularly at midfield where Anthony Maher is the sector’s dominant figure.

Here are the scorers from the first-half.

KERRY: Bryan Sheehan (0-2f), Colm Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan 0-2 each, James O’Donoghue, Paul Galvin 0-1 each.
TYRONE: Colm Cavanagh, Conor Clarke, Darren McCurry, Martin Penrose (0-1f) 0-1 each.

It’s been as physical contest as we expected with the action spilling over frequently in the early stages. Seven yellow cards – four for Tyrone and three for Kerry – ensured David Coldrick was very busy in the first twenty minutes. But the action has calmed down somewhat approaching half-time as Kerry have begun to take a grip on proceedings.

Both teams back out on the pitch and getting ready for the second-half. The attendance has been announced and there are 24,370 here to witness this match. An excellent attendance for a qualifier match.

Kerry 0-9 Tyrone 0-4: 37 mins – That’s the bright start that Kerry wanted with Bryan Sheehan knocking over a close-range free after Kieran Donaghy did brilliantly to secure possession before being dragged down.

Kerry 0-9 Tyrone 0-5: 37 mins – Aidan Cassidy blazes over Tyrone but that could so easily have been a goal. Ryan McMenamin did well to find the Augher man in space and he shook off the challenge of Declan O’Sullivan before firing over as Brendan Kealy advanced. Interestingly Joe McMahon is back in the full-back line for Tyrone in the second-half while Conor Gormley is playing in the half-forward line.

Kerry 0-10 Tyrone 0-5: 40 mins – A sublime point by Declan O’Sullivan off his left for Kerry but the Tyrone marking was very poor on that occasion. O’Sullivan had huge space to burst onto after Tomás Ó Sé found him with a pass.

Kerry 0-10 Tyrone 1-5: 44 mins – A bizarre and dramatic goal but one that has vaulted Tyrone back into contention. Conor Gormley and Joe McMahon did tremendous work to engineer the opportunity, and after McMahon’s shot was bravely blocked by Brendan Kealy, the ball rebounded off a player into the net. It appears to have touched Kerry defender Tomás Ó Sé last.

Two more yellow cards after all that excitement with Kerry’s Marc Ó Sé and Tyrone’s Darren McCurry being cautioned.

Kerry 1-10 Tyrone 1-6: 47 mins – And that’s an outstanding response by Kerry. Declan O’Sullivan, Colm Cooper and Bryan Sheehan were all involved before the ball was played across to the inrushing Kieran Donaghy who palmed the ball to the roof of the net. Tyrone have brought in Stephen O’Neill for Penrose while Sean O’Neill has struck a superb long-range point for Mickey Harte’s side as well. Four points in it now.

Kerry 1-12 Tyrone 1-6: 50 mins – Kerry starting to up the tempo now with James O’Donoghue and Colm Cooper raising white flags in quick succession. Darran O’Sullivan is on for the Kingdom as well instead of Donnchadh Walsh.

Another yellow card for Tyrone, their sixth and the game’s 10th, with Peter Harte booked on this occasion. With 15 minutes left, Kerry are in the ascendancy but they have had a few wayward passes in attack over the last few minutes.

Last throw of the dice for Tyrone with Brian McGuigan into the attack for Darren McCurry.

And within 30 seconds of coming on, Brian McGuigan is sent-off.  Dramatic incident as he struck Declan O’Sullivan, who was yellow carded as well. 11 minutes left and it’s looking very difficult to see Tyrone with fourteen men erasing a six-point advantage.

The game is starting to become extremely fragmented but that suits Kerry as Tyrone struggle to make headway into attack. They have a six-point lead and should be able to protect that in the last ten minutes.

Kerry 1-14 Tyrone 1-6: 63 mins – Kerry are starting to impose themselves now on the game with Colm Cooper, from a free and then from play, striking a brace to stretch their advantage to eight points. They certainly look on their way to round four now and their supporters are really enjoying this as they appear set to finally end their run of championship defeats to Tyrone.

Kerry substitute sees Peter Crowley in for Shane Enright.

Kerry 1-16 Tyrone 1-6: 70 mins – Two late Kerry points by Kieran Donaghy and Patrick Curtin push them further ahead.

Three Kerry substitutions that we neglected to mention with Brian Maguire in for Killian Young, Patrick Curtin for Declan O’Sullivan and Kieran O’Leary for James O’Donoghue.

FULL-TIME: Kerry 1-16 Tyrone 1-6: And that’s it. Kerry have finally ended their hoodoo against Tyrone and they’ve done it in style, claiming a comprehensive ten-point victory. The celebrations of the Kerry players and supporters is very revealing here. This is a sweet success and one that they will savor. The concerns over their performance against Westmeath last week were firmly eradicated as they claimed an emphatic victory.

Here are the scorers from today’s game.

KERRY: Colm Cooper 0-5 (0-1f), Kieran Donaghy 1-1, Bryan Sheehan (0-3f), Declan O’Sullivan 0-3 each, James O’Donoghue 0-2, Paul Galvin, Patrick Curtin 0-1 each.
TYRONE: Aidan Cassidy, Colm Cavanagh, Conor Clarke, Sean O’Neill, Darren McCurry, Martin Penrose (0-1f) 0-1 each, Tomás Ó Sé own goal.

Kerry’s All-Ireland title aspirations are firmly back on track after that victory and they can now look forward to a round four qualifier meeting with Clare next week full of confidence. For Tyrone the end of the 2012 championship road has been reached and this was a chastening experience ultimately as they had no answer to Kerry in the second-half. That’s all from Killarney, thanks for all your comments and for joining this evening.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.