Thursday 22 March 2018

Kildare suffer as McGuigan pulls strings

Tyrone 0-13
Kildare 0-5

Kildare's promotion hopes suffered a serious blow at Dungannon yesterday, when crashing to a heavy defeat.

The Lilywhites failed to spark at O'Neill Park, scoring just two points while playing with the wind in the second half.

Tyrone's fourth win on the trot keeps them in with a chance of a place in the final, and an added bonus came in the form of skipper Brian Dooher's first appearance of the season.

The game was switched from Healy Park to Dungannon due to Saturday's bomb blast in Omagh, which claimed the life of PSNI officer Ronan Kerr, a former playing member of Beragh Red Knights GAC in Tyrone.

A minute's silence was observed in his memory prior to the start of the game.

Tyrone, with a gusting wind in their backs, made a lively start, easing ahead with two Martin Penrose frees and a Brian McGuigan point.

Johnny Doyle finally got Kildare's first score from a 15th-minute free, but that was cancelled out by Colm Cavanagh's long-range effort.

With wing-backs Gary White and Emmet Bolton pushing forward, Kildare began to display an attacking edge, and it was this pair who set up the opportunities that Doyle and Ronan Sweeney converted to leave just a point between the sides.


But The Red Hands stepped up the tempo in the remaining 10 minutes of the half, hitting five points without reply to take command.

McGuigan was the creative maestro, and displayed his finishing qualities with a second point, while Penrose hit three.

And when midfielder Kevin Hughes thumped over a long-range effort, the Ulster men took a comfortable 0-9 to 0-3 advantage into the half-time interval.

The expected backlash from the Lilywhites never materialised and they went 33 minutes without raising a flag.

In the meantime, Tyrone tightened their grip on the contest, with Mark Donnelly slotting over three points from play,

Kildare did post a couple of consolation scores late on, both through placed balls from Doyle.

Man of the Match: Brian McGuigan (Tyrone)

Scorers -- Tyrone: M Penrose 0-5 (4f), M Donnelly 0-3, B McGuigan 0-2, S Cavanagh, C Cavanagh, K Hughes 0-1 each. Kildare: J Doyle 0-4 (3f), R Sweeney 0-1.

Tyrone -- P McConnell 6; M Swift 7, J McMahon 8, D McCaul 7; D Harte 7, C Gormley 7, R McMenamin 7; K Hughes 7, A Cassidy 7; C Cavanagh 6, B McGuigan 9, S Cavanagh 8; M Penrose 8, M Donnelly 7, O Mulligan 6. Subs: P Jordan 5 for McCaul, B Dooher 5 for C Cavanagh, S O'Neill 4 for McMenamin.

Kildare -- S Connolly 6; H McGrillen 6, M Foley 6, A McLaughlin 6, G White 7, M O'Flaherty 6, E Bolton 7, H Lynch 7, J Kavanagh 6, R Sweeney 7, E O'Flaherty 5, F Dowling 5, J Doyle 7, D Flynn 5, R Kelly 6. Subs: P O'Neill 5 for Dowling, O Lyons 5 for McLaughlin, B Flanagan 5 for Kavanagh, M O'Sullivan 4 for E O'Flaherty, E Callaghan6 for Flynn.

Ref -- D Coldrick (Meath).

Irish Independent

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