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Donnelly hits stunning late point to grab win for Tyrone as Kildare suffer third league defeat

A first win in this spring’s league for Mickey Harte’s side.

Tyrone 1-16
Kildare 0-18

Fintan O’Toole reports from St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge

CAPTAIN MATTIE DONNELLY delivered when Tyrone needed it most this afternoon as he swept over a 75th minute point with his left foot to hand Mickey Harte’s side a priceless victory in Newbridge.

Padraig McNulty with Tommy Moolick Tyrone's Padraig McNulty and Kildare's Tommy Moolick. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Kildare couldn’t salvage something from the game as they fell to their third league loss in 15 days and a tough start to life in top tier of the football league continues.

Kevin Feely amassed 0-9 for the home side and his 73rd minute free dragged Kildare level before Donnelly’s late intervention.

Cathal McShane launched over a splendid point to put Tyrone ahead in the 65th minute before Feely and goalkeeper Mark Donnellan missed frees for Kildare. Those efforts looked costly before Feely tied the game yet Donnelly was the match-winner at the death.

Niall Sludden Niall Sludden kicked 0-3 in the first half for Tyrone. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The endeavour of Fergal Conway ran hard through Kildare’s play in the early stages, a brace of points a reward for his efforts as they raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 advantage after 10 minutes.

Tyrone trailed 0-8 to 0-4 by the 25th minute but trotted into the dressing-room at half-time a point to the good. Lee Brennan stole in for their 28th minute goal as Cathal McShane floated a delivery across that went past the fingertips of Connor McAliskey and fell neatly for Brennan to finish tidily across netminder Donnellan.

Tyrone were in front 1-8 to 0-10 at the break but a fiercely contested second-half saw the teams level on six occasions. Tyrone nudged themselves ahead 1-12 to 0-13 by the 46th minute before Kildare kicked four of the game’s five points that arrived in the next ten minutes.


Padraig McNulty and Fergal Conway Both teams had lost their opening two league matches before today. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Cian O’Donoghue’s rousing point put the Lilywhites in front but they would only register a single point in the last 20 minutes of action as Tyrone ultimately enjoyed a profitable away day.

Scorers for Kildare: Kevin Feely 0-9 (0-8f), Fergal Conway 0-2, Mark Donnellan (0-1 ’45), Peter Kelly, Cian O’Donoghue, Niall Kelly, Paul Cribbin, Ben McCormack, Daniel Flynn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tyrone: Lee Brennan 1-3 (0-3f), Niall Sludden 0-3, Mattie Donnelly, Cathal McShane, Connor McAliskey (0-1f) 0-2, Tiarnan McCann, Darren McCurry 0-1 each.


1. Niall Morgan (Edendork)

2. Hugh Pat McGeary (Pomeroy)
3. Pádraig Hampsey (Coalisland)
4. Cathal McCarron (Dromore)

5. Tiarnan McCann (Killyclogher)
6. Rory Brennan (Trillick)
7. Ciaran McLaughlin (Omagh)


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8. Matthew Donnelly (Trillick – captain)
25. Padraig McNulty

10. Conor Meyler (Omagh)
11. Niall Sludden (Dromore)
12. Peter Harte (Errigal Ciarán)

13. Lee Brennan (Trillick)
14. Cathal McShane (Eoghan Roe O’Neill)
15. Connor McAliskey (Clonoe)


22. Michael McKernan (Coalisland) for McLaughlin (39)
18. Darren McCurry (Edendork) for Rory Brennan (43)
24. Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran) for McNulty (54)
9. Conall McCann (Killyclogher) for Lee Brennan (58)
17. Mark Bradley (Killyclogher) for McAliskey (60)


1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)

2. Peter Kelly (Two Mile House)
3. David Hyland (Athy)
4. Mick O’Grady (Celbridge)

5. Johnny Byrne (Allenwood)
6. Eoin Doyle (Naas – captain)
7. Cian O’Donoghue (Clane)

9. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)
12. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)

10. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
18. Niall Kelly (Athy)
19. Paddy Brophy (Celbridge)

14. Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge)
8. Kevin Feely (Athy)
13. Ben McCormack (Sarsfields)


20. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague) for McCormack (half-time)
17. Luke Flynn (Johnstownbridge) for Moolick (48)
25. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge) for Conway (60)
15. Cathal McNally (Johnstownbridge) for Brophy (65)

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)

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Fintan O'Toole

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