GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte questions 'harsh' refereeing calls after Kerry defeat
Last Updated: 11/08/19 7:00pm
Tyrone manager Mickey Harte opined that referee Maurice Deegan made some 'harsh' calls during the Red Hands' All-Ireland semi-final loss to Kerry.
The Ulster side led by four at the break, but were reeled in during the second-half as the Kingdom prevailed 1-18 to 0-18.
Seán O'Shea kicked four frees in the second-half to help overturn the deficit, and Harte was left questioning the refereeing.
"Well, that's an interesting question you ask," he said, when quizzed about some of Deegan's decisions.
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"He obviously played a big part in it because he was very important, he made a lot of decisions. If you felt he made the decisions good for you you'd say 'hey that's great' and if you felt he didn't do them good for you you'd say 'I felt that was a bit harsh'. You certainly would have looked a few decisions and thought they were harsh.
"I felt it seemed to be easy to get frees at certain stages of the game and this 'seeing things in the distance ahead of the game' (off-the-ball incidents).
"One I thought was really strange, we were coming out with the ball, Mattie Donnelly is coming out to try and present for it and he's blown for holding. Now I wonder why he would want to hold the defender, he'd want the ball not to be holding the defender but these things happen and I'm sure everyone will look through it to their own coloured lens and to mine in the immediate reflection.
"I thought there were a number of decisions that weren't good for us."
Otherwise, the three-time All-Ireland winning boss was left to rue the half-time break, which came at the wrong time for Tyrone as it broke their momentum.
"Kerry were different, they played with a different system in the second half," he continued.
"Kerry abandoned their own sweeper idea to a large degree and went at the game more.
"I just think that half-time is a dangerous place - if you are going well, you don't want half-time at all. We were going well up to half-time and that's a time-out to be able to make adjustments with settled minds - that was half-time at a bad time.
"But we have plenty of experience of teams being in a bad place and turning it (around) - even in our own game against Cork who looked in a good place at half-time
"You try to talk the right language to get your team to win the second-half. That's what we tried to and we would have been in the final. We didn't manage that, which is a shame."
Sky Sports' GAA coverage continues next weekend as Tipperary and Kilkenny face off in the All-Ireland hurling final.