By Niall Gartland
THERE’S bad days at the office, and then there’s this. Hammered? Check, check and check again. A scandalous red card decision? Check. A serious injury to none other than Cathal McShane? Sigh. Check.
Maybe there’s something to be said for that silly old Murphy’s Law – that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. While Tyrone were tepid for most of this afternoon’s 19-point defeat, it’s fair to say that lady luck wasn’t on their side either.
Kieran McGeary’s probably still scratching his head pondering why he was sent to the line for a perfectly legitimate shoulder, Cathal McShane dislocated his ankle when 99 times out of 100 he would spring back to his feet, and Ronan McNamee can also feel aggrieved when a penalty decision went Galway’s way early in the second-half.
That penalty – which was lashed to the back of the net by Shane Walsh, who is simply phenomenal when in the mood – set in motion a car-crash final 30 minutes from a Tyrone perspective. That it was the worst defeat of Mickey Harte’s tenure as Tyrone boss says it all.
Harte did his best to parse such a nightmarish day at the office.
“I don’t remember a day like it, but it all just goes to prove that you never know what’s around the corner, and you have to chew it when it commes and hope that you do better the next day.
“It’s very, very disappointing. I’m disappointed for all of the people who have put in a huge amount of work this last two weeks.”
Tyrone fans rejoiced when it was revealed that Cathal McShane had decided at the last minute that he was going to spurn an AFL career and commit his future to the GAA.
He was going fairly well today, scoring two first-half points, but his day came to a devastating end when he collapsed to the floor early in the second-half.
“The saddest thing of all is Cathal McShane’s injury. You don’t like losing matches, league points come and go, but a man of his stature, to lose that again so soon after being able to keep him playing gaelic football here, that’s the most disappointing thing of the day.
“He was in great pain come off. That’s where our thoughts are today.
“I know how important football is to people, I know what it means to them, I know what it can do for people’s lives, but here are many more important things. And we have to keep that in perspective always.”