TYRONE aren’t renowned as the king of the qualifiers for nothing, and they recorded a supremely well-deserved 2-22 to 1-15 victory over Kildare in today’s round three match at Newbridge.
The Red Hands scored 2-17 from play and seem to be gathering some serious momentum with the ‘Super Eights’ getting closer and closer, but it’s fair to say there were still a few sticky patches against the Lilywhites.
Michael Cassidy’s sixth-minute goal was no more than the Red Hands deserved after a promising start to proceedings, but their momentum was stopped in its tracks when Brian Kennedy was harshly black carded in the 27th minute.
Tyrone held a 1-7 to 0-4 lead when they were caught ball-watching when Fergal Conway seemed to hold onto possession for too long (for the record, the referee Paddy Neilan didn’t Tyrone many favours on the day), and Kevin Feely took advantage when finishing off the move with a goal.
Still though, Tyrone led 1-9 to 1-6 at the half-time whistle and emerged a more determined outfit after the break.
Mattie Donnelly was highly involved in all of their early scores, while Peter Harte had his best game of the season with a contribution of seven points, four of which came from play. Cathal McShane was also highly involved with a personal tally of five points, and his marker Micky O’Grady was sent off for a combined black and yellow card offence deep in the second-half.
Kildare kept hanging on with their midfield pairing of Feely and Conway scoring a combined 1-5 between them across the 70 odd minutes of play, but Tyrone finally pushed for home when Darren McCurry palmed to the net to open up a 2-17 to 1-13 led in the 64th minute.
From then on it was a bit of a procession and Tyrone will be very confident of accounting for whomever they are pitted against in Monday’s round four qualifier draw.
Pick up the Tyrone Herald for a full match report, reaction and player ratings from today’s impressive win