Mickey Harte rues side’s missed chances to get one over on Kerry and reach final
Sean Cavanagh left distraught as Tyrone pass up chance to reach first final since 2008
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was left ruing his side’s missed chances after they lost out to Kerry in the All-Ireland senior football championship semi-finals. Photo: Tommy Grealy/INPHO
Mickey Harte has never had a problem finding the point at which all the sound and fury dies away and all that is left are the brass tacks of thing. His team came to Croke Park and performed. They ran at Kerry in floods and made enough chances to win the game.
But they didn’t take them and they’re not in the All-Ireland final. Maybe a rookie manager could take solace in getting close with a young team. But Harte has been to the mountain-top enough times to know that ultimately, close is nothing. There’s no particular mystery in it either. They had the chances and didn’t take them. Simple as that.
“It’s good that we put in a good effort because they deserved that for the good work that they put in all year. But as we all know this is a results business and there are only two places in the final and we are not in one of them.
“We created a number of goal chances and didn’t get any of them from play. We got the penalty, fine, but if any one of those other ones had gone in it would have been very good for us.
“I think we could have got something more out of the game. If we had been more clinical after we closed the gap having been four behind. If we had been more clinical with our shooting at that stage then we might have asked different questions of Kerry. But that is all history now.”
Scoreable freesNiall Morgan
“Yeah, that hurt us. I know they aren’t the ones that you will get 80 or 90 per cent of them but you certainly expect to get 50 or 60 per cent of them and we didn’t get any percentage of them, so they did hurt us badly. They would have been pushing the button for us and sending the alarm bells for Kerry a little bit after we closed that gap. From them looking comfortable they suddenly weren’t looking that comfortable and had we been able to make that even more uncomfortable then that would have been good.
“We couldn’t score frees, from 50 metres or 45. If we had been on the form, on a day like once before here in Croke Park when Niall Morgan hit five out of six kicks – we would have loved that statistic today. On another day, Darren McCurry hits over a 45 and another free from an awkward angle – if he had been in that form today, then it would have been a different story altogether.”
Harte wasn’t minded to make much of the referee – although he was as baffled as the rest of us by the discrepancy between Ronan McNamee’s black card and Shane Enright’s yellow. Seán Cavanagh was five yards away from their late penalty shout, though and was in no doubt that Tyrone were wronged.
Cavanagh was visibly distraught at having missed out on what would have been his fourth All-Ireland final. “Good teams I suppose, whenever those chances present themselves, normally will nail those. Possibly a wee bit of inexperience and guile that you maybe need, to make that extra step or take that extra pass, we didn’t have.”
This was his 79th championship game for Tyrone. The coming months will consist of some long and hard thought about whether there’ll be an 80th.
“It’s hard to know,” he says. “It’s just so difficult at this stage to even . . . It’s something that you sort of say I will take a look at every year. And every year it’s getting tougher to look at. I don’t know. I’ll look at it in the winter and see how it goes from there.”