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Tyrone have booked their place in this year’s All Ireland Senior Football Championship final after a one-point victory over Kerry after extra time.
The side will contest their first All-Ireland in three years and will hope to win their first Sam Maguire since 2018.
Conor McKenna scored a brace and super-sub Conor McShane put up 1-3 to help their side book a date with Mayo on Sunday, September 11.
The win rounds up a month in which Tyrone suffered a Covid outbreak and the GAA were forced to postpone the fixture twice, as well as the All-Ireland final – a game initially scheduled to be played on Sunday, August 29.
Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher’s side got off to a slow start but took the driver’s seat after Kerry’s opening scores and maintained their lead for the rest of the half.
Kerry star David Clifford lost the ball and Peter Harte capitalised, with the ball eventually finding McKenna who put it past Shane Ryan for the first goal of the game.
Goalkeeper Niall Morgan scored from far out to add the side’s tenth point just before the half-time whistle and give Tyrone a marginal lead.
Kerry were frustrated time and time again by Tyrone’s defensive system and energy – boss Peter Keane got his side to adopt this system for the rest of the game.
The change initially paid off with both sides struggling to break each other down but Kerry’s powerful attack, which had scored 87 points in the championship this season leading up to the game, gave the Munster champions the advantage in the third quarter.
Tyrone kept within a goal of Keane’s side and were rewarded for their hard work with a late second goal putting them a point ahead of the 37-time All-Ireland winners with two minutes of regular time to go.
McShane punched the ball in after fellow substitute Darragh Canavan had his shot saved.
Sean O’Shea levels it before Darren McCurry and David Clifford trade blows for their side, with nothing to separate them after 70 minutes.
Clifford was replaced before the start of extra-time after an eight-point performance kept the side in the game.
However, without him, Tyrone began to pull away after another scoring spree, this time on the other side of the end of regular time, got the side a third goal.
McKenna got his second of the day to give the Ulster champions a five-point lead and the Munster champions a mountain to climb.
Logan and Dooher’s side scored 1-2 on either side of the full-time whistle (of regular time) to regain control.
Tyrone never let go of the lead but Kerry did their best to earn it back with four points bringing them just short of forcing penalties.
Tyrone persevered and will face Connacht champions and 2020 All-Ireland finalists Mayo in the biggest fixture of the footballing calendar on Sunday, September 11.