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Last Updated: Monday, 29 September, 2003, 08:11 GMT 09:11 UK
Sam arrives in Tyrone
Peter Canavan waits to receive the All-Ireland trophy
Peter Canavan savours the moment after Tyrone's victory

Tyrone's victorious All-Ireland Football squad have arrived back in the county with the Sam Maguire Cup.

Mickey Harte's heroes crossed the border from Monaghan shortly after six o'clock on Monday evening.

The team bus then made the short journey to Aughnacloy where they were greeted by an estimated crowd of 20,000.

Team captain Peter Canavan and manager Harte received a rapturous reception when they made their made onto a hastily-erected podium in the town.

Later in the evening, the team were scheduled to head on to Peter Canavan's home town of Ballygawley before making another stop in Omagh.

Prior to arriving home, Harte revealed that his managerial masterstroke of giving Peter Canavan a time-out during Sunday's All-Ireland Final had been planned in advance.

The victorious Tyrone boss said that the original intention had been for the captain to play for the opening 15 minutes and the final quarter.

In the end, Canavan played for the entire first half before re-appearing in the final 10 minutes.

The judges must have been watching a different game to the one I was playing in
Man-of-the-match Kevin Hughes

"The plan was for Peter to come off and then go on in the closing minutes. It was the plan so we'll take the credit for that," joked Harte.

Harte showered lavish praise on his team after the three-point triumph over the holders.

Lifting the Sam Maguire trophy capped a fantastic spell for Harte in his first year in charge of Tyrone's senior side.

Having guided the county to Minor and Under-21 All-Ireland titles, he masterminded Tyrone seniors' 2003 National League success before going on to beat Down in the Ulster Championship final.

But the All-Ireland was the one the county had been seeking for so long.

Peter Canavan scored five points in the All-Ireland decider
Peter Canavan beats Enda McGinley to win possession

"It is difficult to find the words to describe this moment," said Harte.

"This is a day we have longed for and dreamt about. We have been working towards this all year.

"I am proud this team has brought back the one thing everybody hankered for.

"It is also a tribute to those who worked so hard for the county in the past.

"It did not come off for them but they actually laid the groundwork for us to come along and go a little bit better.

"Fair play to Armagh, we knew they would not let go of their easily, they are a very good side."

Kevin Hughes won the man-of-the-match award after having produced the performance of his life in the Tyrone midfield.

We will be back, the whole lot of us
Joe Kernan

Hughes played down his display but he received a huge round of applause from his colleagues at the team banquet.

"The judges must have been watching a different game to the one I was playing in but I accept this award of behalf of the entire squad," said the midfielder.

Armagh manager Joe Kernan accepted the better team had emerged victorious.

"It hurts but Tyrone maybe looked a bit hungrier than we were," said Kernan who like Harte had won the All-Ireland in his first season in charge at senior county level.

"We just could not get the score we needed.

"But we will lift ourselves. It is disappointing today but perhaps we will appreciate what we achieved last year a little more now.

"There are no quitters in Armagh and we will be back, the whole lot of us."

Tyrone's Cormac McAnallen
"This is the greatest feeling ever"

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte
"Tyrone have been trying for this for a long time"

Tyrone are All-Ireland champions
28 Sep 03  |  Gaelic Games
Result: Armagh 0-9 Tyrone 0-12
28 Sep 03  |  Gaelic Games


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