Mickey Harte confirmed last night Tyrone will be appealing the one-match suspensions proposed for both Conor Gormley and Martin Penrose ahead of their All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Mayo on Sunday week. They will go before the Central Hearings Committee to give their side of the incident in the quarter-final against Monaghan in which both players had run-ins with Dessie Mone.
Penrose received a red card after half-time in that game but Tyrone only found out on Tuesday evening that the CCCC had decided Gormley had a case to answer as well.
“We believe that when Conor goes along,” said Harte, “and indeed when Martin Penrose goes along, that they will put their side of the story of what happened from their perspective. Then we feel that the people making the judgement will be in a better place to make the right judgement. I think we’re glad to have the opportunity to do that.”
As for the 10-day delay in informing Tyrone of Gormley’s proposed suspension, Harte was at a loss as to why they couldn’t have been told earlier.
“I don’t know why that happened and I suppose the people that are in the position to make those calls have a good reason to make them that way, but maybe it is something they might look at and speed up in future. That’s how it is right now and we have to get on with it.
“I didn’t think he had a case to answer, but at the same time it had been mooted in various media circles that he should have. When that happens sometimes you tend to believe that something will follow. I’d still be very confident that Conor Gormley has a very strong case.”
In the meantime, Tyrone have taken the unprecedented step of releasing statistics showing that they have committed fewer fouls in league and championship in 2013 than have been visited upon them. In an effort to change the narrative of cynicism that has surrounded them this summer, they have pointed out that while they have fouled the opposition 256 times in 2013, they themselves have been on the receiving end of 280 fouls.
One in every six fouls They also claim that for all the furore over Seán Cavanagh's rugby tackle on Conor McManus in the Monaghan game, Cavanagh alone has been the target for one in every six fouls suffered by Tyrone this year. The list released to the press last night was their way of coming back at the commentary on their county, most especially that on RTÉ's Sunday Game.
“I think it’s regrettable that a lot of emphasis is put on a particular incident in a game,” said Harte last night. “There is too much in-depth analysis of a single incident in a game and the totality of the whole weekend’s action isn’t addressed in the same fashion. That’s disappointing and maybe that’s something people can look and see is it being done in a fair and equitable fashion, or are people running with a soundbite that happens to be topical. That’s for others to decide and make their judgement on, but sometimes you do wonder about that.
“People who present these things, seem to have the ability to others to consider or think about it. It brings it into the public domain and when you bring it into the public domain, and nothing is done about it, then the people who are legislating for this will be brought to task.
“It’s for us to put in the past, but it still happened and it’s regrettable that there’s such a negative focus on such an honest, wholehearted and honest sportsman as Sean Cavanagh. That’s awful, that’s a pity, that so much attention should be put on that aspect of a game. I have never seen him go to hurt anybody in his life, pull a dirty stroke in his life”