Tyrone withstand Kildare fightback
Tyrone weathered a strong second half showing from Kildare to bring an end to Kieran McGeeney’s unbeaten record in the Qualifers.
The Lilies had never lost back door game under the Armagh man but that record was broken by Mickey Harte’s dogged Tyrone side.
Matthew Donnelly got the game’s crucial score when he goaled on ten minutes.
After his superb display when the sides met in the league semi-final, Stephen O’Neill’s presence had the Kildare defence spooked and he had a hand in the build up, palming possession to Ryan McKenna who in turn fed Donnelly who finished finish high to the net.
Donnelly was in fine form and followed that goal up with a stunning point from the touchline.
At the other end, Kildare were having little joy and they wracked up nine wides during a disappointing opening 35 minutes. Johnny Doyle was Kildare’s leading light and he landed the last score of the half to reduce the arrears five points at the interval (1-6 to 0-4).
Kildare were a different team on the restart and fired off five unanswered points.
There was more drama as Stephen O’Neill saw his penalty saved after Mark Donnelly had been fouled.
But Tyrone survived that miss and Mark Donnelly grabbed a crucial score to quell Kildare’s momentum.
The Lilies shipped a body blow with seven minutes to go when Peter Kelly was sent off for a second yellow card.
From the resultant free, Mickey Harte’s men pulled three points clear and while Kildare hit back, Tyrone had done enough to secure a date with Meath in Croke Park next Saturday night.
SCORERS: Tyrone: S Cavanagh 0-4 (3f), Matthew Donnelly 1-1, D McCurry 0-3 (3f), Mark Donnelly, P Harte, M Penrose (1f), 0-1 each
Kildare: J Doyle 0-6 (4f), N Kelly 0-2, P O’Neill, E O’Flaherty, P Cribbin, S Johnston (sl) 0-1 each
Kildare: S Connolly; D Hyland, P Kelly, H McGrillen; E Bolton, M O’Flaherty, D Flynn; D Flynn, P Brophy, E Callaghan; N Kelly, T O’Connor, J Doyle
SUBS: P Cribbin for Flynn (20), S Hurley for Callaghan (35), S Johnston for O’Neill (55), A Smith for Kelly (57), E Doyle for O’Connor
Tyrone: P McConnell; A McCrory, C Clarke, C McCarron; R McKenna, P Harte, C Gormley; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, Joe McMahon, Mark Donnelly; D McCurry, S O’Neill, M Penrose
SUBS: A Cassidy for C Cavanagh (42), D Carlin for McKenna (52), K Coney for McCurry (57), C McAlliskey for O’Neill (68), Justin McMahon for McCarron (68).
Ref: J McQuillan (Cavan)