Tyrone set to appeal red cards against Armagh

‘It didn’t seem that one-sided a row to me’ says Red Hand joint manager Logan

Given their clear indication to appeal the four red cards received in immediate succession late into Sunday’s defeat in Armagh, Tyrone can’t yet fully assess the damage inflicted in the opening two rounds of the Allianz Football League. Given their ultimate league run last year it may not prove damaging at all.

The fortnight break before round three, and their next Division One date back home in Omagh against Kildare, affords joint managers Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher more time to build their case, and any subsequent appeals, if needed, against the red cards shown to captain Pádraig Hampsey, 2021 player-of-the-year Kieran McGeary, and defenders Michael McKernan and Peter Harte.

Logan himself admitted it was likely something of a record for Tyrone, match referee David Gough also showing a straight red card to Armagh forward Greg McCabe after a dozen or so players from each team got themselves involved in a mass brawl at the Drumarg terrace end of the Athletic Grounds, just as the clock spilled into injury-time.

The game finished 2-14 to 0-14 in Armagh’s favour – and to chants of “Armagh! Armagh!” – and leaves the All-Ireland champions still seeking their first win since that triumph last September; they also lost to Armagh and Cavan in the McKenna Cup, and drew with Monaghan in round one.

For Logan, a solicitor based in Omagh and through that line of work already well familiar with the appeal processes in the GAA, the prospect of being without four first-choice players for that meeting with Kildare, also seeking their first win in Division One, may or may not influence the nature of the appeal; either way he suggested some “balance” might prevail.

“Let’s just hope we can get a good look at the video, and things will potentially balance themselves out again,” he said. It didn’t seem that one-sided a row to me, but anyway all we can do for the moment is live with it, as best we can. There are fair checks and balances in Croke Park to deal with these sorts of things and we’ll see where we get to.”

Forward Cathal McShane was spearheading the Tyrone comeback late into the second half, before the red cards ended all hopes, converting seven second-half frees, after being held scoreless in the first half.

Card-fest

“It was hard to see what went on, there were a lot of bodies coming together, it was hard to figure out what happened, or how it happened,” McShane said of the card-fest. “You were just sort of focused on the game, and trying to worry about that, but obviously decisions were made there.

“It’s strange what happened. We were just proud of our performance in the second half, and that was the main aim, to give it our all. Ten points down, and we came back to four. So that’s what we’ll be focusing on, those positives and we’ll be looking to build on that going forward.

“It’s a matter of leaving it to the powers that be to figure out what happened, but it’s strange, that it was four versus one. Normally in melees like that there, it’s normally evened out. But there’s nothing we can do about that, it’s obviously about what they [the match officials] thought they saw.”

McShane also dismissed the suggestion Tyrone’s appetite for the game is not yet at 2021 All-Ireland-winning levels, even if that appetite was somewhat questionable in the 2021 league too, especially when conceding six goals to Kerry.

“I wouldn’t agree with that at all,” he said. “Because I see the lads in training, and it’s not just one night or two nights, it’s three or four nights a week. There’s no questioning that [the hunger], we’re working hard, we’re ensuring that we’re giving it our all, and we’re as hungry as ever.

“We probably started a wee bit later this year, and we went on the team holiday. So we’re just back now, we’re working hard and we’re chomping at the bit.

“Not everything went our way, but if we keep working hard, things will fall into place. But you have to give credit to Armagh, you could see that they’re far down the line, probably further than us, and you have to give them credit for that.”

Tyrone will also host Dublin in Omagh, a game which may well decide who stays in Division One: “I think every year you play in Division One, it’s always going to be competitive, and anybody can beat anyone on any given day. We got a draw in our first game and we have lost here, so we know going forward there’s important games coming.

“It’s just down to ourselves now to get back to training, work hard and give it everything to ensure that we start picking up points.”

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