Full-time: Tyrone 0-11 Kildare 0-16
A statement win for Kildare and Kieran McGeeney courtesy of a late flourish. We’ll have analysis of that Division 2 final later in the day.
13.58 – As for Tyrone, they haven’t lost since that mauling at the hands of Dublin last August. Since then they’ve reinvented themselves, won all 12 games they’ve played and it was interesting to hear Mickey Harte say he’s stopped pandering to the senior brigade in training, something we all suspected was happening. That respect was admirable but it was getting the county nowhere of late and finally we have the latest swathe of underage winners making their mark.
14.16 – 14 mins: Tyrone 0-4 Kildare 0-3, Neither side committing too many forward meaning defences on top in a shapeless game. Even Owen Mulligan back making a challenge there as Tyrone counter and Niall McKenna puts them ahead for the first time.
14.23 – 20 mins: Tyrone 0-4 Kildare 0-4, It’s ‘nice’ football but no edge to the game. Plenty of passing, very few hard challenges and some wayward shooting, although a swirling wind is making it difficult. Tomas O’Connor and PJ Quinn in an interesting battle on the edge of the Tyrone square. O’Connor wins that ball, sets up James Kavanagh and it’s level. Now Conor Gormley gone back in on O’Connor in a key match-up as Kildare’s strategy is the by-pass the Tyrone blanket defence by hitting it in long and early.
14.35 – 30 mins: Tyrone 0-5 Kildare 0-7, Conway hauled down by Cathal McCarron and finishes off another free in front of posts. The O’Connor danger has seen Kildare half-forwards find a bit more space in the last couple of minutes as James Kavanagh drops deeper leaving a two-man full-forward line for Kildare. There’s more as Kildare go back to route one next, continuing to vary the ball in. O’Connor scoops a long ball over Donnelly and then the keeper although Aidan McCrory makes sure it’s a point rather than a goal for Kildare.
14.41 – Lengthy stoppage here as Aidan McCrory has stayed down after saving that goal. The stretcher is on and he’s surrounded by several medics and has been for a number of minutes. They haven’t moved him from the goalmouth yet but hopefully it’s precautionary.
14.50 – Half-time: Tyrone 0-6 Kildare 0-7, Stephen O’Neill points from a free and then shoots just wide from eight yards when he might have goaled.