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02nd Sep 2018

Twitter reacts to a topsy-turvy first half of the All-Ireland final

Carl Kinsella

All-Ireland Final

That was a half of two-halves.

Dublin, who have won the last three All-Ireland football finals on the bounce, were red-hot favourites coming into today’s clash against Tyrone, but the opening exchanges told a very different story.

Bad wides from Jack McCaffrey, John Small – as well as two missed free-kicks by Dean Rock – saw Tyrone up from four points to one after 15 minutes.

Not only that, but Mickey Harte’s men were surrounding the Dubs all over the pitch, and creating some very interesting chances for themselves. They could have had seven or eight points after 10 minutes.

A spectacular, bending effort from Connor McAliskey made it 0-01 — 0-05 to Tyrone and summed up the start of the match.

Ciarán Kilkenny pegged one back, their first score since the opening minute, in the 18th minute, and from the resulting kick-out Tyrone lost possession and conceded an extremely controversial penalty.

It’s not easy to measure consensus on social media, but it’s dead certain that plenty of punters didn’t see Tiernan McCann’s tackle on Paul Mannion as a foul. He certainly seemed to get a very good chunk of the ball.

Still, it was given, and in the end, Mannion stepped up, held his nerve, and levelled the score from the penalty spot.

The game absolutely turned on the referee’s decision, and Dublin soon steamed into the lead with two points from Dean Rock in quick success.

Dublin took off soon after, with O’Callaghan turning his man and surging through on goal before laying it off to Niall Scully who punched it into the net. Dublin began to dominate, with Dean Rock adding his fourth and fifth points of the half. All of a sudden it was 14 minutes since Tyrone had scored.

At half-time, Jim Gavin’s men led 2-07 to 0-06. Tyrone proved that they can give Dublin a scare, but nine wides in the opening badly let them down.