Tyrone impress with win against Kildare

Tyrone 2-11 Kildare 0-12

Tyrone 2-11 Kildare 0-12

Tyrone turned on the style in the second half to lay down an impressive marker in their bid for promotion back to Division One.

They blitzed Kildare with a superb attacking performance to take both points from their Division Two opener.

Martin Penrose and Peter Harte punched home the goals that downed the Lilywhites and gave manager Kieran McGeeney pklenty to think about as he bid to guie his side back to the top tier of the NFL.

And old stagers Owen Mulligan and Stephen O’Neill turned in vintage attacking performances, while there was an unexpected boost, with Sean Cavanagh, who had been expected to miss the first half of the league through injury, making his return as a late sub.

O’Neill angled over a delightful opening point, but the Red Hands struggled to build on that early flourish.

Although the former Footballer of the Year doubled ht lead from a free, it was Kildare who eased into their stride after Eoghan O’Flaherty finally opened their account from a 16th minute free.

Mikey Conway knocked over a 13 metre free to bring the Leinster men level, and it was corner back Peter Kelly who pressed forward to take Conway’s pass and punch over the lead point on 22 minutes.

Kildare, with Johnny Doyle now on the field, stretched the advantage to three points with scores from Conway and Padraig O’Neill, who with a little more composure could have had a goal when sent in by O’Connor

The Red Hands struggled to find fluency and managed just one score in the second quarter, an Owen Mulligan free.

Kildare, thanks to Conway’s third score of the evening, went in at the break with a 0-6 to 0-3 lead.

But it was a transformed Tyrone team that took the field for the second half. They closed down the attacking threat from deep, and pushed forward with purpose, with Mulligan moving to centre forward to pull the strings and pick holes in the Kildare rearguard.

Harte crossed for Penrose to palm home a goal in the 41st minute, and Mulligan and Ronan O’Neill arrowed over points.

But Kildare fought back for Padraig O’Neill and Conway to shoot points, while O’Flaherty converted a ’45 after Aidan Cassidy had blocked out a Conway shot on goal.

Tyrone struck for the decisive second goal in the 56th minute, and this time it was the impressive Harte who turned finisher, punching home Mulligan’s cross to open out a three points lead.

The Red Hands never allowed the advantage to slip, although Tommy O’Neill and Eamonn Callaghan both broke through to blast in shots which sent narrowly wide.

Conway tagged on a couple of scores, but Mulligan and O’Neill nailed another couple of points as Tyrone tightened their grip.

Tyrone scorers: M Penrose, P Harte 1-0 each, Stephen O’Neill 0-5 (2f), O Mulligan 0-3 (1f), D McCaul, R O’Neill, Mark Donnelly 0-1 each

Kildare scorers: M Conway 0-6 (4f), P O’Neill, E O’Flaherty (1f, 1 ’45) 0-2 each, J Doyle, P Kelly 0-1 each

Tyrone: P McConnell, A McCrory, C Clarke, PJ Quinn, C McCarron, P Harte, Sean O’Neill, M Murphy, A Cassidy, Mattie Donnelly, P Hughes, M Penrose, O Mulligan, Mark Donnelly, Stephen O’Neill.

Subs: D McCaul for Quinn, R O’Neill for Hughes, N McKenna for Cassidy, R McMenamin for Mattie Donnelly

Kildare: S Connolly, P Kelly, C Fitzpatrick, O Lyons, B Flanagan, T O’Neill, E O’Flaherty, D Flynn, R Sweeney, T Moolick, M Conway, P O’Neill, J Kavanagh, T O’Connor, A Smith.

Subs: J Doyle for Moolick, H McGrillen for Flanagan, E Callaghan for Smith, M O’Flaherty for Fitzpatrick, R Kelly for Flynn

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)

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