ALL-IRELAND SENIOR FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIER ROUND 3
KERRY v TYRONE
Saturday, July 21 2012, 5.00pm Fitzgerald Stadium, Kilarney
SO much for flying under the radar for a few weeks. Any hopes that Tyrone harboured of quietly building up a head of steam travelling the scenic route were ‘torpedoed’ when they landed a trip to Kerry in Round Three of the All-Ireland Qualifiers.
This Saturday’s blockbuster at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney is clearly the tie of the round and arguably the most high-profile ‘backdoor’ football clash in the ten year history of the Qualifiers.
Memories of those previous four seismic Championship clashes at Croke Park came flooding back when the two counties were paired together in Monday morning’s draw, from the Kingdom’s come from behind victory in the ‘86 Al-Ireland Final, through to the more recent Tyrone triple triumphs in ‘03, ‘05 and ‘08.
During the course of the past decade the two teams (together with Armagh for a spell) stood head and shoulders above all other contenders in the country and the outcome of those three bone-shuddering contests at Headquarters have carved an indelible mark on the history of the sport within the O’Neill County.