Friday 15 December 2017

Tyrone triumph shines spotlight on McGeeney

Tyrone’s Matthew Donnelly celebrates after scoring his side's crucial first half goal in the win over Kildare at Newbridge last night.
Tyrone’s Matthew Donnelly celebrates after scoring his side's crucial first half goal in the win over Kildare at Newbridge last night.
John Greene

John Greene

TYRONE continue their progress in the qualifiers, once again scraping through a tough and tense encounter on the road with a two-point win over Kildare in Newbridge.

As with the win in Roscommon two weeks ago, there were long spells yesterday when Mickey Harte's team were far from impressive – they went 30 minutes without scoring from play – but that said they will head to Croke Park on Saturday evening to take on Meath with some degree of confidence.

Kildare – who finished the game with 14 men after Peter Kelly picked up two yellow cards – had their chances, dominating the game after half-time. But as has been the case in recent years, they could not kick on. Tyrone held on to win by 1-11 to 0-12, and there will be speculation in the coming days over the future of Kieran McGeeney as manager after six years in charge.

Prior to last night's defeat, Kildare had gone unbeaten in 16 qualifier games under the Armagh man going back to 2007. With a talented group of players to come through from the under 21 and minor ranks, McGeeney will rightly feel Kildare still have a bright future.

Armagh, the form team of the qualfiers, were ambushed in Salthill by a Galway team which had stumbled and stuttered along. Galway, unimpressive in their qualifier wins over Tipperary and Waterford, having shipped an embarrassing defeat to Mayo in the Connacht championship, are still standing having kept Jamie Clarke scoreless. Danny Cummins scored the goal 24 minutes into the game which gave Alan Mulholland's team the belief to upset the previously free-scoring Armagh by 1-11 to 0-9.

Cavan produced a sizzling performance in the heat in Celtic Park and beat Derry after extra-time to progress to the fourth round qualifiers.

Cian Mackey got the match-winning goal six minutes into the second-half of extra-time as Cavan won by five points, 1-22 to 0-20. The Breffni men face a likely date with London and will fancy their chances of reaching the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

In Wexford, Laois continued their revival with a 0-16 to 2-8 win over the home side.

See Page 3

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