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McGeeney blasts 'pathetic' Kildare

Kieran McGeeney laid the blame for defeat to Tyrone fairly and squarely at the feet of his misfiring attack.

The Lilywhites wilted at O'Neill Park, where they flopped in front of goal. McGeeney was furious at his side's paltry return of five points, all but one of them scored by All-Star attacker Johnny Doyle.

And as Tyrone cantered to a win that takes them a step closer to promotion, the Leinster men were left to reflect painfully on a game that saw them go almost 50 minutes without scoring, and which almost certainly condemned them to another season in Division Two.

Terrible

"The forwards have to put their hands up. They had plenty of ball in the first half," said McGeeney.

"Forwards get the credit when they score the points, and when they don't, it's always somebody else's fault. The forwards were terrible.

"To score, basically, three points in 68 or 69 minutes at this level of football is pathetic."

The Kildare boss wasn't overly concerned when Doyle and Ronan Sweeney knocked over the points that brought his side to within one of wind-assisted Tyrone on 21 minutes.

But they failed to add another point until the 33rd minute of the second half, while the Red Hands skated clear with some impressive attacking football.

Martin Penrose, Brian McGuigan and Kevin Hughes hit eye-catching scores as they turned around at the break with a 0-9 to 0-3 advantage.

And in the second half the home side displayed composure and comfort on the ball, playing the game on their own terms and at their own pace, with McGuigan at the centre of their most positive plays.

"I didn't expect anything less from this team. It was good to get those nine points, good to get that cushion of six points, but I always felt that we have the team that can control play and can handle the ball with composure, and therefore playing against the breeze isn't that big an issue with us," said Tyrone boss Mickey Harte.

"They play controlled football anyway. I was happy enough at half-time that we would play with composure, play with control.

"I didn't expect that we'd win by as much, but I felt that we had enough of a lead that we would be able to protect it by getting some more."

Tyrone only scored four points in the second half, three of them from Mark Donnelly, a pre-match replacement for Stephen O'Neill, but they never looked troubled. Kildare's two scores came from late Doyle frees.

It was Tyrone's day, made all the brighter by the second half appearances of Brian Dooher and Philip Jordan for their first action of the season.


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