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Heartbreaking Christy Ring Defeat for Hurlers
Christy Ring Cup Rd 3
Tyrone 1-16 Sligo 0-20
Sligo wasted no time in the opening half and by the quarter hour mark they had raced into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead. The westerners opened the scoring inside the opening 16 seconds with full forward Thomas Cawley firing over. Dermot Begley had the sides level by the 3rd minute with a free but Sligo clipped over two scores in the 9th minute from the experienced Joe McHugh and wing half back Ronan Molloy. The Red Hands eventually got back on the scoreboard in the 15th minute as Conor Grogan found the range.
That two Sligo point Sligo lead was extended to five points by the 19th minute as Andrew Kilcullen landed a free and a point from play ahead of a lovely score from Conor Hannify. A 20th minute Dermot Begley free brought Tyrone to within four points once again but that gap was short lived. Sligo landed a 24th minute point from Conor Griffen before a sublime sideline cut brilliantly executed by Andrew Kilcullen in the 28th minute. A tenth point of the half for Sligo came from Thomas Cawley and it looked like they were heading into the break with a big lead.
The Red Hands had a different plan. First, Sean Duffin landed a free in the 33rd minute followed by another free a minute later. The same player hit a sensational sideline cut over the black spot in the 36th minute before Lorcan Devlin landed an excellent point from play. Half Time Score – Tyrone 0-7 Sligo 0-10.
If the Red Hands finished the opening half strong they failed to open the second half in the same form. Sligo thumped over the first four points of the second period. Eddie O’Donoghue, Conor Griffin (0-2), and Andrew Kilcullen getting the scores to leave Sligo 0-14 to 0-7 ahead by the 44th minute.
An Aiden Kelly point in the 47th minute started a comeback for Tyrone who went on to register another four points in 13 minutes off the sticks of Conor Grogan and Sean Duffin (0-3). Between the 59th and 69th minute both sides shared the next five points of the contest. Kilcullen, O’Donoghue and Comerford on target for Sligo while Sean Duffin hit two points for the Red Hands.
Tyrone were in trouble, trailing by three points but Chris Kearns had the answer striking a loose ball off the deck to find the net in the 70th minute. Sides level. 1-14 to 0-17. Andrew Kilcullen edged Sligo ahead once again in the 71st minute only to see that lead struck out by an excellent Lorcan Devlin point. Kilcullen looked like he might have won the game in the 76th minute with another free but plucky Tyrone forced another free which Sean Duffin converted.
With the game entering the 79th minute it looked like referee Colm McDonald might well blow the final whistle. Unfortunately his next whistle signalled a free in for Sligo and it was left to Andrew Kilcullen to launch over his 8th point of the game to win it for Sligo.
Final Score – Tyrone 1-16 Sligo 0-20