When? August 21, 1996
What? All-Ireland senior football semi-final
Wh0? Meath 2-15 Tyrone 0-12
Where? Croke Park
Whistler? Michael Curley, Galway
ALL was set for Tyrone to confidently progress towards their destiny of a first ever All-Ireland title when they lined out against Meath in this semi-final clash.
The level of expectation on the Red Hand county was clear, and especially considering the memory of their loss to Dublin in the previous year’s decider.
Now was the time for them to deliver on the promise of outstanding youth and senior success.
But it was to this backdrop that the county suffered a demoralising defeat which had repercussions far beyond 1996. The loss left a sour taste, with incidents involving Peter Canavan, Brian Dooher and Ciaran McBride causing particular concern and undermining their challenge.
Despite all this, though, there was no doubting the supremacy of the Meath men where it mattered most on the scoreboard.
Under the management of Sean Boylan, they wasted little time in establishing their authority.
Just four points separated the teams midway through the second half. The teams had been level at half-time and Tyrone had recovered well from the goal blow imposed by Graham Geraghty.
However, the closing stages of the tie proved to be a nightmare for the Ulster champions as their dreams of Sam Maguire glory evaporated in the heat of a packed Croke Park.
Gerard Cavlan. Adrian Cush, Peter Canavan and Fergal Logan all worked hard. It was to no avail, though, as the county lost out and had to wait a further seven years for that elusive and historic success.