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July goodbye for Tyrone
STUMBLING at the same hurdle in the All-Ireland race as perennial also-rans such as Leitrim, Limerick and Antrim represents a sobering new reality for Tyrone followers used to jostling with the prime contenders in the quest for Sam well into the final furlong.
However the last 16 exit at the hands of a gleeful Kerry side in Killarney last Saturday means that for the first time since 2006 (Rd 2 Qualifier loss to Laois) Tyrone will be kicking their heels frustratingly on the sidelines before we head into the business end of the season on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Last year’s similarly crushing Championship demise against Dublin proved the swansong for six seasoned panellists (though Brian McGuigan subsequently returned to the fold) and no doubt after this latest reversal the rumour-mill will shift into overdrive about the future plans of other survivors of that maiden 2003 All-Ireland breakthrough success.