Tyrone undone by Kildare goals in league decider

Lidl National Football League Division 2 final

Kildare 2-9 Tyrone 0-12

By Daire Walsh

FIRST half goals from Claire Sullivan and Neasa Dooley were crucial at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon as Kildare defeated Tyrone to claim their first Lidl National Football League Division 2 crown since 2004.

After Roisin Byrne had opened the scoring with a second-minute point, Emma Conroy responded with a brace at the opposite end to edge Tyrone in front.

However, Kildare, appearing at GAA HQ for the first time since winning last year’s TG4 All-Ireland intermediate championship title, were already showing considerable attacking intent and bagged their first goal on six minutes when Byrne fed the raiding Sullivan for a low finish to the net.

Dead-ball specialists Byrne and Maria Canavan  — an extended member of that famous Tyrone family — went on to trade points at either end of the pitch, but with sunshine making way for driving rain in north Dublin, this showpiece suddenly became less free-flowing in nature.

Nevertheless, a two-point salvo by Canavan got Tyrone back on level terms in the 18th-minute and they then squeezed into the ascendancy again when Sasha Byrne found the target from close-range.

Yet Byrne added a brace of her own just as the conditions started to brighten up again and thanks to Dooley’s superb three-pointer on 27 minutes, Kildare brought a 2-4 to 0-6 cushion into the interval.

Tyrone, who drew with Kildare during the Division 2 group stages, were still in contention on the restart, however, and another clinically-executed Canavan free got them back up and running. Captain Aoibhinn McHugh also burst through from midfield for a point that shook the woodwork on its way over, before Kildare finally opened their second half account on 41 minutes with a white flag contribution from Trina Duggan.

The ever-dependable Canavan and Lilywhites substitute Lara Curran cancelled each other out with points as the third-quarter drew to a close, only for the Tyrone sharpshooter to once again chip in with a placed ball effort.

Niamh Farrelly later joined Curran in registering a point off the Kildare bench and this was followed by a majestic Ellen Dowling score from out towards the left-wing. While Canavan brought her personal tally up to 0-8 in the closing moments, a Dooley point ensured that Diane O’Hora’s Lilies had three points to spare in the end.

N Dooley 1-1, R Byrne 0-4 (2f), C Sullivan 1-0, T Duggan, E Dowling, L Curran, N Farrelly 0-1 each.
Tyrone: M Canavan 0-8 (7f), E Conroy 0-2, A McHugh, S Byrne 0-1 each.

Kildare: M Hulgraine; F Troute, A Clifford, M Doherty; L Murtagh, R Sargent, L Gilbert; G Clifford, H McLoughlin; T Duggan, E Dowling, C Sullivan; N Dooley, R Byrne, A Rattigan
Subs: N Farrelly for Rattigan (25), E O’Toole for McLoughlin (40), L Curran for Murtagh (43), H Tyrrell for Dowling (53), S Munnelly for Duggan (54)

Tyrone: C Donnelly; J Lyons, J Barrett, E Quinn; C Campbell, E Mulgrew, M Corrigan; A McHugh, M Mallon; EJ Gervin, E Conroy, A Horisk; M Canavan, Z Loughran, S Byrne
Subs: A Daly for Horisk (19-22), E McCanny for Byrne (45), C Daly for Barrett (48), A Grimes for Conroy (50), A Daly for Horisk (53), KR Muldoon for Corrigan (60)

Referee: Shane Curley (Galway)

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW