Senior hurlers right back in the hunt for Christy Ring after deserved win in Tyrone

Back 04/05/2023 @ 00:26 | hurlingnews | Senior hurlers right back in the hunt for Christy Ring after deserved win in Tyrone

Tyrone 1-16 Sligo 0-20

Sligo’s senior hurlers turned in their best display of the year when they travelled to Carrickmore in Tyrone on Saturday last and came away with the points to put themselves right back in contention in this year’s Christy Ring Cup.

Although the one-point victory was only confirmed with an Andrew Kilcullen point in the eight minute of added time, it was no less than the Yeats county deserved having led the game from the opening minutes and never going behind.

Kilcullen again emerged as the scorer in chief with eight points – seven from placed balls, Padraig Mannion and his management team, will have been happy also to see the scoring shared among eight players, including all six starting forwards, over 80 minutes of play.

Full forward Tomás Cawley opened the scoring for Sligo to give the lead in the first minute and although Tyrone had an almost instant response from Dermot Begley, two further points from Joe McHugh and wing back Ronan Molloy gave the visitors a deserved three-point advantage inside the opening 11 minutes.

Although Tyrone did bring it back to 0-4 to 0-2, Sligo were the more decisive throughout the first half and added six of the next seven scores to lead by seven, 0-10 to 0-3 with five minutes of the first half remaining – the Sligo points from Kilcullen (three, including a free and a sideline cut), Conor Griffin, Conor Hanniffy and Cawley,

The home side did hit four unanswered points in those final five minutes plus two of added tine – three from placed balls – to go in just three behind at the break despite never really making inroads in the Sligo defence.

If Tyrone’s mini flurry before half time was of concern to Sligo, they didn’t show it on the resumption as they dominated the opening ten minutes and restored the seven poiunt advantage with a point each from the Kilcullen, Griffin, Hanniffy and Eddie O’Donoghue.

It was inevitable that Tyrone would get a purple patch and they did come right into the game in the middle third of the second half with five unanswered points, all from play, three from the impressive Sean Duffin.



There was two points in as the game entered the last 15 minutes and it was tit for tat as Duffin first exchanged frees with Kilcullen and then a point from form play with Eddie O’Donoghue.

With three minutes to go, Coolera Strandhill’s Eoin Comerford popped up with his first score of the day to give Sligo a three point gap as the game entered the last minute of normal time and it looked like the Yeats County might have a decisive gap.

The Red Hand County was not done however and as the clock went into the red, wing back Chris Kearns struck low for a goal that put his side on level terms for the first time since the opening exchange of scores.

Sligo heads didn’t drop however, and they worked the ball back down the field to earn a free that Kilcullen converted. With six minutes of the eight added played, Duffin again equalised from another free but it was Sligo who prevailed with Kilcullen converting a final free to restore Sligo’s dream of a return to Croke Park.


Tyrone: L Dunphy; D Rafferty, R Devlin, O McKee; C Kearns (1-0), C Devlin, F Devlin; B McGurk, D Begley (0-2 frees); C Grogan (0-2), L Devlin (0-2), R Slane; A Kelly (0-1), S Og Grogan, S Duffin (0-9, 0-7 frees, 0-1 sideline).

Subs: M Little for Devlin (45), R Weir for McGurk (61), J Ferguson for Rafferty (68).

Sligo: D Reidy; G Connolly, N Feehily, E Comerford (0-1); R Molloy (0-1), R McHugh, K O’Kennedy; F Connolly, D Hanniffy; C Hanniffy (0-2), E O’Donoghue (0-2), C Griffin (0-2); J McHugh (0-2), T Cawley (0-2), A Kilcullen 0-8 (0-5 frees, 0-1 65, 0-1 sideline).