The scenes at full-time of Tyrone’s extra-time victory over Kerry summed it up.
The Munster champions were left shell-shocked. A year that promised so much, in which they had scored 21 goals in seven games before Saturday, came to an abrupt halt.
They failed to fire, and ran into an inspired Tyrone outfit who dug deep to cause one of the shocks of the year.
“They totally deserved to [win]. If they had their shooting boots on, there could have been more in it to be honest,” said Jim McGuinness of Tyrone.
“Kerry came into this game and into this season as overwhelming favourites. And Tyrone have just had that self-belief that they always have. They have it at underage level, and they carry that through to the senior ranks.
“This is going to be a very tough pill to swallow for Kerry. There’s no doubt about that. After last year, this is the one that they really, really wanted to set the record straight. But Tyrone have come good. And it’s going to be a new champion in the final in a couple of weeks.”
Tyrone stun Kerry after extra-time to reach All-Ireland final
‘A minor miracle’: Tyrone management hail upset victory
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Incredible scenes at full-time, as @TyroneGAALive defeat Kerry to book a spot in the All-Ireland final! pic.twitter.com/zuvCbhjnYv
Donaghy: Goals were the difference
Former Kerry star Kieran Donaghy noted how the Kingdom’s failure to raise a green flag was their undoing.
“No complaints. Tyrone came up and played the better football and they got the goals. We said they needed goals. Kerry didn’t really threaten the goals much,” he outlined.
“They had a few chances that they probably tried to overplay. You get away with that against teams in the Munster Championship when you’re up eight or nine points, it’s easy to throw it around. When you’re in a tight game, it becomes harder, when you’re up against a defensive-style team in Tyrone, where they’re aggressive and get good contact in.
“But all credit to Tyrone today. They went out there, they won it, they had a tough few weeks in the lead-up, and that’s a huge win. They’ll go and they’ll put it up to Mayo in two weeks’ time.”
Canavan: I’m immensely proud
Meanwhile, Tyrone great Peter Canavan was beaming with pride, as his county-men delivered their best performance of the year, reversing the 16-point hammering at Fitzgerald Stadium in June.
“I’m immensely proud as a Tyrone man, because that wasn’t easy today,” he said.
“It took a serious amount of heart. Tyrone were on the back foot for long periods of the game. And a lot of things from a Kerry point of view went right for them, in terms of their kick-outs. They won possession on a lot of Tyrone’s. They were driving forward.
“But the last-gasp tackling from Tyrone on numerous occasions just kept them in the game.
“Tyrone had experience battling through tough games this year, and Kerry didn’t. And that stood to Tyrone at the end. But what a hell of a performance. When it comes to fight and determination, there were bucket-loads there. I’m immensely proud of it today, and we have two weeks to look forward to a brilliant All-Ireland final with Mayo.”
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