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Croke Park, 21 September 2008

Venue: Croke Park. Date: Sunday, 21 September.

Tommy McGuigan celebrates his crucial goal for Tyrone


By Lyle Jackson

1720: That is it from the All-Ireland final. I am off on a tour of hostelries in Strabane, Dungannon and Omagh. Don't wait up.

1718: "Of the three All-Irelands I have won, this is the most special. We proved all the doubters wrong." Man of the match Sean Cavanagh savours Tyrone's success.

1716: "After Tyrone lost to Down, I could not see how these players were going to come back. I wish I could do what Mickey Harte can do." TV pundit Martin McHugh sinks his gnashers into some humble pie on BBC2 NI
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1712: Tyrone skipper Brian Dooher has lifted the Sam Maguire trophy and is now saying his thank-yous from the Hogan Stand. He has thoughtfully mentioned the WAGS - have to keep yourself right.

1702: The final whistle goes and Tyrone are the All-Ireland champions for the third time in six years! Unbelievable. Kerry, the hot favourites, have been sensationally humbled by Mickey Harte's magnificent team. Result: Kerry 0-14 Tyrone 1-15

1700: Sam is heading north! Suddenly Tyrone lead by four points thanks to quickfire scores from Enda McGinley, Kevin Hughes and Colm Cavanagh Kerry 0-14 Tyrone 1-15

1657: Sean Cavanagh lands a sublime point to put Tyrone into the lead. At the other end a fantastic save by Pascal McConnell denies Declan O'Sullivan a goal and Bryan Sheehan sends the 45 wide. Four minutes to go - reach me my tablets! Kerry 0-14 Tyrone 1-12

1653: "Brian Dooher playing a great game. From all his fans in Lifford greyhound stadium. Go on Tyrone! Join the debate on 606

1648: Sean Cavanagh's fourth point of the match evens things up. Then Paul Galvin, banned for three months for slapping a notcebook out of a referee's hand, makes his return as a Kerry substitute. Ten minutes to go - Kerry 0-14 Tyrone 1-11 - in other words, squeaky bum time.

1645: The Kingdom are coming! Points from Tomas O'Se, Darragh O'Se and Colm Cooper put Kerry into the lead.

1636: Darren O'Sullivan, Tommy Walsh and Cooper on target for Kerry while Dooher and Cavanagh add to Tyrone's tally. After 47 minutes, it is Kerry 0-11 Tyrone 1-10

1630: Bryan Sheehan screws a free wide of the posts. Kerry are looking worried - so they should be. Tyrone's tails are up.

1627: Ryan Mellon points for the Red Hands and the Ulstermen have a 1-0 to 0-8 lead. Are they going to make it three Sams in six years?

1626: Goal for Tyrone! Tommy McGuigan finds the net after 23 seconds of the second half. Half-time substitute Kevin Hughes charges forward, keeper saves and the ball falls for McGuigan to poke in. Another managerial masterstroke from Mickey Harte.

1617: "Tyrone have played very poorly in the first half but they are still in it." Jarlath Burns gives his half-time verdict on BBC2
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1609: Penrose scores for Tyrone, Seehan and Cooper for Kerry who lead 0-8 to 0-7 at half-time. And feelings run high, as they say, as the players leave the pitch. Needless pushing and shoving - but not fullscale warfare - not yet anyhow....

Tommy Walsh of Kerry and Tyrone's Joe McMahon
Tommy Walsh was closely marked by Tyrone's Joe McMahon

1557: He is back! Stephen O'Neill comes on for the injured McCullagh. The 2005 player of the year says he will not accept a medal if Tyrone win, as he was not involved in getting them to the final. Will he get to make that decision?

1555: Things are hotting up. Cananagh points for Tyrone, O'Sullivan and Bryan Sheehan from Kerry, a crucial save by Pascal O'Connell from Walsh and brilliant points by Super Dooher. Six points each.

1550: Three-time All Star Sean Cavanagh dinks inside and lands a right-footed score for the Red Hands. Doing anything on 5 October? That is the date should we need a replay....

1545: Davy Harte launches a real smasher for Tyrone but Kerry respond with another 'Gooch' free and a Declan O'Sullivan score from play. Kerry 0-4 Tyrone 0-3

1540: A free for each side - Tommy McGuigan and Cooper do the business - so it is Kerry 0-2 Tyrone 0-2

1533: We are off, and a score apiece - Colm McCullagh free for Tyrone and a point from play for the menacing Colm Cooper.

1529: "I'd like to see Tyrone win as it would be such a special occasion for me and my girlfriend. We are both diehard Tyrone supporters." Paddy from Dungannon texts on 81771
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1526: Irish president Mary McAleese has met the players and the traditional pre-match parade is underway.

1524: "If this Kerry team does not win, these players will go down as failures in their county." BBC pundit Martin McHugh lays it on the line for the Kingdom.

1520: Kerry team - Murphy, M O Se, T O'Sullivan, Reidy, T O Se, O'Mahony, Young, D O Se, Scanlon, Sheehan, D O'Sullivan, Brosnan, Cooper, Donaghy, Walsh.
Tyrone: McConnell, McMenamin, Justin McMahon, Mellon, Harte, Gormley, Jordan, Holmes, McGinley, Dooher, Penrose, Joe McMahon, T McGuigan, Cavanagh, McCullagh.

1510: A massive roar greets the Tyrone squad as the players run out. And the rumours about Stephen O'Neill are off the mark - he is on the bench, so too is Kerry's Paul Galvin. Martin Penrose and Ryan Mellon are starting for Tyrone.

1505: "Both these teams today came through the back door. There was no back door in my day, we had to win them straight." - Paddy Doherty, former Down All-Ireland winning captain tells BBC2 viewers that modern players get it easy.

1446: Drama! Just as the green and red ribbons are being tied to the Tom Markham Cup, Tyrone's Matthew Donnelly, from the village of Trillick, equalises with virtually the last kick of the game.
Result: Mayo 0-14 Tyrone 0-14. No extra-time here, it is a replay for the Minors.

1445: Aidan Barr lands a superb free for Mayo. Has the youngster from Castlebar snatched the decisive score in stoppage-time? 0-14 to 0-13 to Mayo.

1437: Five minutes left in the Minor match and it is 12 points each. Take a bow young Paddy McNiece - six points for the Coalisland boy.

1430: Tyrone's bearded wonders have landed. On the TV monitor, pictures of Ulster's representatives arriving for the senior showdown. Just an hour to the big one!

1425: Back to the Minor final now, nine points each early in the second half.

Tyrone fans in fine form
Tyrone fans in fine form as they reach Croke Park for the final

1415: "I would be surprised if Stephen O'Neill does not start at full-forward for Tyrone." Does BBC Radio Ulster pundit Jimmy Smyth have an inside line on the pre-match rumours?

1405: "Enjoying the GAA text updates" - Paul in Prague. Cheers, Paul, I am feeling glad all over.

1401: It is half-time in the curtain-raiser and it is looking much brighter for the Tyrone lads. Having been four points down, they lead 0-8 to 0-7 with three scores for Paddy McNiece.

1350: Mayo have a 0-6 to 0-3 lead, Tyrone's best score coming from Ciaran Girvan, putting Intermediate club Derrylaughan on the map.

1340: Early doors, as they say, but Mayo make the better start and are two points up thanks to Raymond Geraghty and Cathal Freeman.

1330: The young ones get the action underway as the Mayo and Tyrone Minors start their big match.

1320: The players from Mayo and Tyrone Minors are warming up on the pitch and the ground is starting to fill up with the throw-in for the Minor decider just 10 minutes away.

1315: Just asked BBC pundit Martin McHugh for a prediction. "I am not sure, but if I had a pound I would put it on Kerry." Martin has plenty in the bank, of course.

1305: "Great to see the All-Ireland final live on BBC2 NI. Have enjoyed the live Ulster SFC coverage."
Text from Gerard Fox on 81771
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1240: The rumours are flying about Tyrone's starting line-up. The word, unconfirmed as yet, is that prodigal son Stephen O'Neill is going to start for the Red Hands - probably at full-forward in place of Brian McGuigan. There is more - Martin Penrose is reported to be included in the half-forwards, getting the nod ahead of Ciaran Gourley.

1230: The sun is beaming down on Croker and the Artane Boys' Band is in rehearsal mode as some of the Minor players stroll out on to an immaculate-looking playing surface.

1205: Sad news in the Tyrone camp as the father of their first-choice goalkeeper John Devine died on Saturday. Pascal McConnell is in line to deputise in goals.

Kerry fans Clare Dwyer and Brid Mulrennan
A couple of Kerry fans make a colourful arrival

1200: The waiting is over and the big day has arrived - All-Ireland final day at Croke Park. It promises to be a bright and colourful day in Dublin for the biggest sporting occasion Europe will witness today.

There will be 80,000 people in the stadium to watch holders and odds-on favourites Kerry play Tyrone in the senior final.

Before that, the Minor final takes place with Tyrone playing Mayo.

see also
Kerry v Tyrone (21 Sept)
20 Sep 08 |  Gaelic Games
O'Connor tips Kingdom to triumph
19 Sep 08 |  Gaelic Games

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