Kildare were crowned the Allianz Football Division two Champions following a 0-16 to 0-11 win over Tyrone at Croke Park.
The defeat was a first of the season for Mickey Harte’s side but it came at the most crucial of times with the Ulster side on the verge of claiming the title as the game entered the final 10 minutes however a strong finish from Kildare, inspired by Padraig Fogarty saw the Lilywhites claim the title and sets them up nicely for the Championship.
In an even first half it was Kildare who came out of the blocks the quicker with the ageless Johnny Doyle and Eoghain O’Flaherty putting the Leinster side two points to the good up however Tyrone hit back with Owen Mulligan kicking a brace to level matters.
Mike Conway put Kildare back in front however points from Mark Donnelly and Niall McKenna put Tyrone in front for the first time with 15 minutes gone.
The two teams continued to trade points with Kildare drawing level once again thanks to a free from Conway and they surged into a 0-07 to 0-05 lead thanks to points from Conway and Tomas O’Connor.
An injury to Aidan McCory delayed the end of the first half and with the game well into added time Stephen O’Neill narrowed the gap to one point with a free.
Tyrone came out of the blocks in the second half with Mulligan netting two frees and O’Neill chipping in with his second in the opening 15 minutes of the half to put the Ulster side two in front.
Eoghan O’Flaherty halves the deficit with a ’45 before Fogarty levelled matters with 19 minutes left.
Sean Cavanagh and Conway traded points as very little continued to separate the sides entering the final 10 minutes.
Fogarty and Conway then put Kildare in front for the first time in the second half with points apiece before Eamonn Callaghan completed a hat trick of points in a matter of minutes to fully put some light between the sides.
Doyle scored his second of the day with a sublime effort before Fogarty with his third since coming on made it 0-15 to 0-10 with minutes left.
O’Flaherty completed a remarkable run of seven straight scores with a free before Mulligan pulled one back at the death for Tyrone but it was too little too late and in the end Kieran McGeeney, who earlier in the week had compared the O’Neill County to Barcelona, managed to complete his own “Chelsea” and claim the win for the underdogs.
Kildare: Shane Connolly; Peter Kelly, Hugh McGrillen, Ollie Lyons; Emmet Bolton, Morgan O’Flaherty, Eamonn Callaghan (0-1); Mick Foley, Padraig O’Neill; Eoghan O’Flaherty (0-3), Mikey Conway (0-5), Johnny Doyle (0-2); Alan Smith, Tomas O’Connor, James Kavanagh (0-1). Subs: Padraig Fogarty (0-3), Daryl Flynn.
Tyrone: Jonathan Curran; Aidan McCrory, Conor Gormley, PJ Quinn; Cathal McCarron, Peter Harte, Damian McCaul; Aidan Cassidy, Colm Cavanagh; Ronan McNabb, Mark Donnelly (0-2), Sean Cavanagh (0-1); Owen Mulligan (0-5), Niall McKenna (0-1), Stephen O’Neill (0-2). Subs: Joe McMahon, Sean O’Neill, Martin Penrose, Michael Murphy.