Tomás Ó Sé says Kerry failure to beat Tyrone in any of their three epic Championship clashes in the 2000s remains "a pebble in the shoe".

Kerry won five All-Irelands during that decade, compared to Tyrone's three, but it was the Red Hands who emerged victorious in the big games between the pair.

They met three times, the 2003 All-Ireland semi-final and the 2005 and 2008 finals, and Mickey Harte’s men came out on top on each occasion.

It led to heated debates over who was the team of the decade.

"There was fierce respect between the two teams," recalled Ó Sé on The Sunday Game.

Ó Sé can only watch on as Peter Canavan finds the net in the 2005 final

"There was never anything dirty of malicious in those games. You can talk about league games but when it came to championship it was just pure and utter football.

"The aggression that Tyrone came at us with was what stood out. In 2005, we had the 2003 game there, we won the All-Ireland in 2004, so that was seen as Tyrone and Kerry coming at each other and to see who came out on top."

Ó Sé scored Kerry's second goal in the 2005 decider to reduce their arrears to a point with 14 minutes remaining, but they were unable to prevent Tyrone from lifting the Sam Maguire for the second time in three years.

In 2008, a priceless goal from Tommy McGuigan and a string of late points inspired Tyrone to their third All-Ireland title of the decade.

"I can honestly say that every time we played them we felt we could win," said Ó Sé. "We were doing more homework on them at this stage.

"Whatever it was with Tyrone, I felt that whatever level they were playing at, when it came to Kerry they had an ability to lift it up another notch.

"Kerry people will say to this day that it is a pebble in the shoe that we never beat them throughout that decade.

"They beat us three times so you just have to put your hands up and say they had the better of us, there's no doubt about that."

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