Sean Cavanagh and Pat Spillane tear into each other in entertaining half-time side-show 4 months ago

Sean Cavanagh and Pat Spillane tear into each other in entertaining half-time side-show

Sean Cavanagh was not standing for that.

"Can I shock you with a statistic," Pat Spillane began. The next two minutes made for great TV viewing.


Cavanagh and Spillane went at it during the half-time analysis of Tyrone's Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-final win over Donegal, at Brewster Park.

Cavanagh was praising Tyrone's fight half effort against Donegal, and likened some if their tactics to that of their old, long-term manager Mickey Harte. Spillane, his fellow RTÉ pundit, bided his time until he pounced on a phrase uttered by the former Tyrone star.

"You said, 'Mickey Harte's teams got a lot of stick, at times'. Of course they did! Sure they haven't won an All-Ireland in 12 years. 12 years.

"Bear this in mind, the top three teams in the country over the last 12 years - Kerry, Dublin and Mayo - Tyrone have never beaten them in that time. So don't tell me that Mickey Harte and his game-plan over the last 12 years has been brilliant. It hasn't."

"I'm saying that's the way we played football, Pat," Cavanagh responded. "I'm not saying it was the best way to play football, but that's the way we played.

"I would have liked if Mickey had transitioned to a more attacking style of football, but the lads here today have the opportunity to do that."

Spillane was not finished. "It got stick, justifiably," he chipped in.

"I would agree with that Pat," Cavanagh replied. "But at times it worked for us. We won plenty of Ulsters."

"But no All-Ireland," Spillane shot back, drawing this response from Cavanagh:

"Look, Kerry has beaten Waterford and Clare to get out of Munster, but we had to fight our way through Ulster."


That last statement from Cavanagh drew a sigh from the Kerry legend, but he has a point. It is easy to pontificate about how good have been in the last dozen years when they have rarely been given tests down in Munster. The Ulster championship, meanwhile, is a snake-pit.

Sometimes you have to cut your cloth accordingly.

Following the game, which Tyrone won 0-23 to 1-14, Cavanagh aimed another jibe at Kerry having it easy in Munster.

"Kerry have already won the All-Ireland," he quipped. "Sure they won by 4,000 points the other day."

"16," Spillane corrected.