Derry beat Kildare to secure semi-final berth

Cork's John Hayes and Tyrone's Ryan McKenna
Cork's John Hayes and Tyrone's Ryan McKenna

Derry booked their place in the Division I semi-finals, and relegated Kildare to Division II in the process, with a comfortable victory over the Lilywhites at Celtic Park yesterday.

Brian McIver’s side continued the excellent form they have shown all spring in the top tier, and would have won by a more convincing margin had it not been for two very late Kildare goals from Tommy Moolick and Eamonn Callaghan.

Tyrone kept their semi-final hopes alive by fighting back to earn a draw in Cork.

Trailing by 0-12 to 1-5 at half-time, Cork upped their game considerably in the second period, with a goal by sub Colm O’Neill helping to turn matters in their favour.

However. three late points from Seán Cavanagh, Kyle Coney and Ronan O’Neill earned the visitors a point.

“When Cork went four up on two different occasions it looked like only one winner,” said Tyrone boss Mickey Harte.

“It was a big ask for our players to hang in there and I think it was very important that they did.

“When you keep fighting to the end there’s always the chance of salvaging something.”

In Division Two, Armagh’s defeat by Galway leaves them battling against relegation.

The Tribesmen are now level on five points with the Orchard County in the table, just one ahead of Laois, who suffered a 0-19 to 0-14 defeat at the hands of Monaghan.

“Once again, from our point of view, we gave ourselves too much to do,” said Armagh boss Paul Grimley.

“It has been a trend really for us in this league. We have given teams a golden start and we have been chasing most games. We don’t lack fight and we don’t lack heart but we do give ourselves a mountain to climb.”

One of Galway, Armagh or Laois will be relegated next weekend. Monaghan’s win means if they beat Galway next weekend, they will be promoted for the second season in a row.

Likewise, Donegal’s 1-19 to 3-7 win over Louth means they too are just one win away from promotion.

Division 1: Cork 2-14 Tyrone 0-20 Tyrone; Derry 2-17 Kildare 3-09

Division 2: Meath 1-14 Down 1-11; Galway 2-14 Armagh 1-13; Monaghan 0-19 Laois 0-14; Donegal 1-19 Louth 3-07

Division 3: Cavan 0-14 Roscommon 1-08; Fermanagh 1-14 Wexford 0-06

Division 4: Antrim 3-15 London 1-10