Tyrone Vs Dublin

Saturday night saw the probable end of an era for Tyrone county football for a few years anyway. The All-Ireland quarter final tie was sure to be epic on paper but unfortunately Dublin were just too good for Tyrone on the night and they utilized the same tactics that Tyrone have used against so many great teams during the past 8 years.

As anyone who was in Dublin knows only too well, the heavens opened around 5pm and didn’t really let up until half time. This didn’t make taking photos as easy as I had my gear wrapped in plastic and with other covers which slows things down but it couldn’t be prevented. Croke Park was quite empty as the teams came out at 6.40pm for their warm up and it wasn’t until a few minutes to seven that the majority of the 52,000 crowd took their seats.

The two teams stand for the national anthem in steady rain. The atmosphere was building up despite the stadium being only two thirds full.

The stadium lights were all on for the game so lighting wasn’t a problem for taking photographs. All the action shots below were taken at f2.8 which gave me an approximate shutter speed of 1/800 which was good enough for freezing the action.

Despite an early Tyrone point from Mark Donnelly, Dublin set the tone for the following 70 minutes as Bernard Brogan narrowly missed a goal chance in the second minute of the game.

Dublin's Bernard Brogan shoots past Justin Mc Mahon ....

... but his shot is saved by Pascal Mc Connell. An early scare for Tyrone.

Throughout the first half, Dublin scored some wonderful points from every corner of the field and were asserting their authority on the game, giving Tyrone little space to move or to control play. 20 minutes into the game it was 0-07 to 0-03 in favour of Dublin.

Kevin Hughes trys to regain possession from Dublin's Barry Cahill.

Colm Cavanagh wins a midfield ball for Tyrone.


The decision made by referee Joe Mc Quillan regarding the photo above rose a lot of debate. Even though Joe Mc Mahon is clearly in possession of the ball, he is being tackled from behind by Bernard Brogan, the free was awarded to Dublin as Joe was deemed to have committed an under-arm tackle with his left arm (a tackle were the player with the ball sees the opponents arm coming from behind and he traps it between his arm and body perhaps making it look as if the opponent is not letting go). This was not the case here in this instance in my eyes and it was an unfair call by Mc Quillan as Joe was clearly trying to drive up the field.


By half time, Tyrone were down 0-11 to 0-06 and everyone was hoping for a major turn around in the second half. The second half saw the introduction of Brian Dooher, Dermot Carlin and Stephen O’Neill followed by Aidan Cassidy and Enda Mc Ginley. Although Tyrone got some points from free kicks from Martin Penrose and Sean Cavanagh, Dublin continued to exert their control across the whole field and were unlucky not to score two or three goals.

The inevitable was happening and despite holding out for a 10 minute goal flourish from Tyrone, it never came and the gap between the teams continued to widen.

Philip Jordan is pulled across the sideline.


Mickey Harte made a lot of changes throughout the game in the hope of breaking Dublin's defence but it wasn't meant to be for Tyrone.

As the minutes crept on towards the end of the game, a lot of Tyrone ‘fans’ started to leave Croke Park which I thought was highly disrespectful …. the Tyrone panel and management deserved more than this. The final scoreline of 0-22 to 0-15 was generous as Dublin could easily have scored 3 goals but I’m glad they didn’t.

It was sad to see the probable end of a lot of these county players careers in a Tyrone jersey on Saturday night but it is more important to remember the many memorable days they gave us  throughout the past 8 years. It’s now over to the club football for the rest of the year but I hope to see Tyrone rebuild again in January 2012 for the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup. Tir Eoghain Abú!

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