Confounding pre-match expectations, Tyrone led Dublin by 0-5 to 0-2 when the first significant decision of the opening half had to be made.
Surprisingly wasteful from the off, Dublin were handed a lifeline when Paul Mannion was adjudged to have been fouled in the box.
Referee Conor Lane immediately signaled for the penalty, sparking numerous complaints from the aggrieved Tyrone defenders.
Allowing Dublin the chance to level up proceedings, there was much consternation among viewers regarding whether or not the penalty ought to have be awarded at all.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) September 2, 2018
Was that a penalty?
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) September 2, 2018
Soft enough penalty. That’s sparked Dublin back to life.
Thank god they don’t regularly get big beneficial decisions when they’re down in a game!!! #AllIrelandFinal
— Andrew Lane (@Andrew_AL98) September 2, 2018
@officialgaa definitely no penalty for dublin, a forth official needed on a screen as referee can’t do the job
— Micky C (@mickycullen1) September 2, 2018
Usual biased refereeing towards Dublin. Never in a million years was that a penalty. #DUBvTYR
— Eoin Murphy (@TheOnlyEoinEver) September 2, 2018
Dublin getting more help once again, never a penalty and it will change the flow of the match to benefit the Dubs #AllIrelandFinal
— Graham Reddy (@CylonXIII) September 2, 2018
Despite certain viewers' misgivings, others were certain Lane had come to the correct decision.
Legit penalty for Dublin. Tyrone player blocked the kick with his leg
— Mícheál Ó Gallchobhair (@itsskitime) September 2, 2018
Dublin are a different level. And it was a stonewall penalty. McCann didn’t play the ball, surprise surprise and took the man. #DUBvTYR
— RoryLarmer (@RoryLarmer) September 2, 2018
Dutifully stepping up to take the spot-kick himself, Paul Mannion finished it with aplomb to give Dublin a foothold in the game.
From there, Jim Gavin's men started to deliver on the pre-match expectations, and, by half-time, they were leading Tyrone 2-7 to 0-6.