Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tyrone and the Spirit in the Sky

It sort of made all the acres of newsprint and guff from the likes of myself seem more like meaningless fluff than normal, the way Mickey Harte broke down after the game on Sunday as thousands of his countymen swarmed around him. Anyone who mused on the likely factors to influence last Sunday's All-Ireland final glibly positioned Tyrone's Corman McAnallen factor in the same paragraph as one might discuss their erstwhile midfield problems or Kerry's oft-repeated need to exorcise the northern ghosts.

Sunday revealed how inappropriate that was.

It is now completely apparent how much the tragic demise of their captain affected Tyrone, and as evidenced by the outpouring of emotion following Sunday's final whistle, how much the young man from Eglish's memory inspired them.

"Cormac said at 23 that he didn't want to look back on his career and not win another [All-Ireland]", Harte said on Sunday evening. "Those words stuck with this team. We just had to give him one more, and now we can say we've done it for him."

One can examine Sunday's intensely riveting spectable objectively and point out how Kerry's fears about their lack of previous comparable tests proved correct. One could commend how Tyrone and Ryan McMenamin in particular responded to inevitable Gooch issue. One could point out that Kerry seemed to run out of ideas when the early ball into Cooper and O'Cinneide ceased to be effective. One would have to compare Tyrone's slick off-loading with the way Kerry began to fumble and hestitate as the game went on.

Sub-clauses and appendices all. There was a higher force at work for Tyrone and the emotion of the post-match celebrations and the words of their manager and captain demonstrated the source of their county's superhuman intensity, and the sheer force of their belief.


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