DAVID Clifford saw red – in bizarre and what appeared to be grossly unfair circumstances – as Kerry lost an incredibly tight and tense National League game with a tough Tyrone outfit in mud-bath conditions at Edendork this afternoon.
The Kerry captain was shown two yellow cards although the second had everybody mystified as he had certainly been more sinned against when he appeared to be hauled down and pinned to the ground by the throat.
Former Kerry footballer Kieran Donaghy commented on Twitter afterwards: “Send a sub on to the star forward on a yellow, start a row, pull him down to the ground. Smart by Tyrone but not so smart by the 2 umpires 10 yards away with no clue of who is on a yellow or the situation that’s just unfolded. Proper camera angles may suggest otherwise”.
Clifford, understandably, was absolutely seething and he wasn’t the only Kerryman expressing that emotion as the drenched supporters filed out of the stadium which, to be fair, was hardly up to the standard required to host a game of this importance.
With the original venue, Healy Park in Omagh, deemed to be waterlogged, the game was transferred to Pairc Arthur Mallon where the conditions were not much better as the ball could hardly be bounced on the sodden surface.
Kerry looked the better side for much of the game and led 0-5 to 0-1 thanks to the accuracy of Sean O’Shea, Clifford and Micheál Burns with the Dr Crokes player impressing in the opening half.
Kerry led 0-8 to 0-4 at the break but the introduction of Cathal McShane, who rejected a move to play in Australia, inspired Tyrone and the sides were soon level.
Goalkeeper Niall Morgan, lethally accurate from frees, gave Tyrone the lead but it was looking good for Peter Keane’s side when Peter Harte was sent off after picking up a second booking in the 58th minute.
Black cards followed for Kerry midfielder Jack Barry and McNamee but then came the dismissal of David Clifford, who was shown a second yellow card, much to the bemusement of most, if not all, in the small crowd.
Darren McCurry’s opportunism won the day – and the points – for Tyrone who fought off a late Kerry surge to win by a single point, 0-14 to 0-13.
Kerry scorers: D Clifford 0-6 (0-2 frees), S O’Shea 0-6 (0-5 frees), M Burns 0-1.
Kerry: Shane Ryan, Jason Foley, Tadhg Morley, Graham O’Sullivan, Paul Murphy, Gavin Crowley, Gavin White, Liam Kearney, Jack Barry, Micheál Burns, Sean O’Shea, Stephen O’Brien, Killian Spillane, David Clifford, Paul Geaney.
Subs: Dara Moynihan for O’Brien; Tom O’Sullivan for Spillane; Diarmuid O’Connor for Burns; Tommy Walsh for Kearney, Tony Brosnan for White.
© KillarneyToday.com is the 24/7 online news service provided by O’Mahony Media
Advertise for 2020 and ensure your message reaches 18,000 readers every day, over 300,000 viewers every month and over 23,000 followers on Facebook