Tyrone edged out Kerry by 0-14 to 0-13 in a gripping encounter at Edendork as they bounced back from a flat performance against Monaghan.
A ten points haul from local heroes Niall Morgan and Darren McCurry, playing on their club ground, saw the Red Hands over the line.
With Healy Park waterlogged, this great rivalry was renewed at the other end of the county as Pairc Arthur Mallon hosted a Division One encounter that provided some memorable moments despite the havoc wreaked by Storm Ciara.
Morgan's superb place-kicking into the wind was to prove crucial in keeping Tyrone in touch in a testing first half.
He brought the home side level after Sean O'Shea had edged the Kingdom ahead from a free, but Clifford was soon weaving his magic, dragging All Star full back Ronan McNamee all over the field as he probed, and displayed creativity and finishing power in equal measure.
The Kerry skipper landed a brilliant long range point, along with a free, and sent O’Shea in for a tidy finish.
And a neat move involving Graham O’Sullivan, Clifford, Paul Geaney and Stephen O’Brien ended with Micheal Burns kicking another long range effort for a 0-05 to 0-01 lead in the 15th minute.
Morgan was busy at both ends of the field, saving superbly with the boot after Clifford had forced a turnover around midfield to send Geaney in for a crack at goal.
Turnovers were a problem for the Red Hands in that opening half, and they were fortunate not to ship greater punishment as a couple of Kerry chances went abegging.
Soon they were finding the range again, Clifford bringing his tally to four, before Morgan drilled two long range frees between the posts, one of them a 48 metre effort into the strong wind.
Kerry led by 0-08 to 0-04 at the break, and the intensity increased after the restart with both sides fully committing to challenges in difficult underfoot conditions.
Cathal McShane, who this week turned his back on an AFL career to commit his future to Tyrone, came off the bench five minutes in and won a free that he converted himself to bring the sides level at 0-09 each on 50 minutes.
It was 'keeper Morgan who gave them the lead for the first time a minute later from a 55 metre free, and Kerry never managed to get their noses back in front, despite the strong running from deep of Dara Moynihan and Paul Murphy.
Tyrone lost Peter Harte to a second booking in the 58th minute, and following a series of minor skirmishes, there were black cards for Kerry midfielder Jack Barry and McNamee.
Both sides were down to 13 men when Clifford picked up his second booking, with the game finely balanced going down the final strait.
McCurry landed a brilliant sideline ball between the posts, but another O’Shea free left just a point between the sides with four of the seven added minutes played.
McCurry’s sixth score from a mark provided a slim but valuable cushion as they held on with a desperate defensive effort in those frantic closing stages.
Tyrone: N Morgan (0-04, 4f); N Kelly R McNamee, L Rafferty; T McCann (0-01), R Brennan (0-01), P Harte; C Cavanagh, C Kilpatrick; K McGeary, N Sludden, D McCurry (0-06, 3f, 1 s/l, 1 mark); D Kerr, F Burns, C Meyler (0-01, mark).
Subs: C McShane (0-01, f) for Kerr (40), K Coney for Kelly (47), B McDonnell for Kilpatrick (60), HP McGeary for Burns (68), M Cassidy for McCann (74)
Kerry: S Ryan; J Foley, T Morley, G O’Sullivan; P Murphy, G Crowley, G White; L Kearney, J Barry; M Burns (0-01), S O’Shea (0-06, 5f), S O’Brien; K Spillane, D Clifford (0-06, 2f, 1 mark), P Geaney.
Subs: D Moynihan for O’Brien (42), T O’Sullivan for Spillane (45), D O’Connor for Burns (53), T Walsh for Kearney (67), T Brosnan for White (72)
Referee: F Kelly (Longford).