Tyrone had to dig deep yesterday to leave Newbridge with two points in difficult conditions. The Red Hand were eager to bag their first win of the campaign, and hosts Kildare were in the same boat.
After the Lilywhites’ four-point lead in the first half was counted out thanks a Lee Brennan goal among some other impressive scores, the teams went point-for-point in a tense second period. Ultimately, the game was won by the visitors, due to a late Mattie Donnelly score from wide on the left, which lifted Tyrone off the bottom of the table.
Inspirational point from leader and captain Mattie Donnelly! pic.twitter.com/RvGTSDuHZk
— The GAA (@officialgaa) February 11, 2018
Speaking after the game, Mickey Harte revealed his delight to be off the bottom of the table.
“We really saved the day for ourselves… That last point of Mattie Donnelly’s was priceless in terms of league points.”
“It didn’t look good at four-nil and five-one. They were flying and the first three shots they took went over the bar and the first three we took went wide.
“It was déjà vu from last week [against Dublin], we were missing too many shots.”
Tyrone now aim to build on the victory, in what is an extremely competitive Division 1 table.
“It’s a battle all the way and you look at the teams you have to play, you can’t look ahead and say ‘these are easy games.’
“Monaghan, Donegal, Mayo and Kerry, if we don’t gets points on the board now the ones coming up aren’t any easier.
“It gives us that bit of confidence to believe that we can pick up a couple of points. Picking up points, we haven’t done (that) for a long time. To get this today is very, very vital for us.”
Next up for Tyrone is a trip to neighbours Monaghan on Saturday week.