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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Allianz Division 1 Focus: Draw not enough to save Red Hands

5 April 2015; Kerry and Tyrone players tussle off the ball. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Round 7, Tyrone v Kerry. Healy Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone
5 April 2015; Kerry and Tyrone players tussle off the ball. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Round 7, Tyrone v Kerry. Healy Park, Omagh, Co. Tyrone

TYRONE, will join fellow blanket defence advocates Derry in NFL Division 2 next year, after they were relegated despite their 0-17 to 1-14 draw with Kerry at Healy Park, Omagh yesterday.

The result sees the All-Ireland champions, who welcomed back Colm Cooper as a second-half sub, survive the drop but the draw was not enough to earn the Kingdom a berth in the Division One semi-finals.

At the half-time interval Tyrone led 0-8 to 0-7.

Johnny Buckley and Seán Cavanagh (free) swapped the first two points and Red Hands stalwart Cavanagh edged his team ahead on six minutes from a close-range free culminating from a purposeful Peter Harte run.

The opening half concluded in a welter of scores as Paul Murphy's free tied the sides up with four minutes left with Tyrone responding with points from Mattie Donnelly and Ronan McNabb before the Kingdom again drew level with scores from Buckley and Bryan Sheehan (free).

Deep into injury time, Cavanagh popped over another free to give his side the slenderest of advantages.

When Paul Geaney drilled the ball to the net after gathering a rebound ten minutes into the second half, Tyrone's top-flight status looked doomed but Darren McCurry replied with a point before Cavanagh surprisingly pulled a goal chance wide of the target.

Geaney restored the visitors' four-point cushion and the margin remained at four going into the final quarter.

Kerry led by the minimum in the dying seconds before McCurry landed the final point in the second added minute to earn his side a draw.

STEPHEN GRIFFIN'S injury-time point secured a 1-9 to 0-12 draw at MacHale Park in Castlebar to seal Donegal's passage through to the Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-finals where they will face table-toppers Cork next Sunday.

Rory Gallagher's team looked to be heading out at the expense of their hosts, however, nine second-half wides scuppered Mayo's chances.

The visitors were 1-5 to 0-7 in front at half-time with Paddy McBrearty slotting the all-important goal in the 19th minute.

TWO goals from Enda Lynn saw relegated Derry close their campaign with a 2-15 to 1-11 victory over Cork at Owenbeg.

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