Sports Digest: Dubs dethrone Kildare after free


“I got a three-year term. I am as enthusiastic as ever. If the county board are happy with me I have no problem going forward,” said Fitzpatrick.

“I could do a runner, let them go ahead in Division Two and let them be relegated but I am not a coward.”

Donegal Wins

Donegal produced a stirring second half performance to beat a fancied Tyrone side by three points in Sunday’s Ulster SFC semifinal in Clones.

Tyrone were five points ahead after a bright opening to the game and led by two at the break, but Donegal really came into the match in that second period.
“Tyrone in the first half early in the game were putting on a master class and I’ve seen them do that on a number of occasions,” said Donegal boss Jim McGuinness afterwards.

“We wanted to get the Donegal players into the dressing room, sit them down and relax them and explain that all the things we were working on all year weren’t happening and needed to start happening.”

Tyrone had Kevin Hughes sent off in the second half and were guilty of some woeful finishing in the first.

Manager Mickey Harte admitted, “We lost the game in the first half. Never mind the goal chances. The scoring statistics say we had 18 scoring chances and got six. Donegal had five scoring chances and got four.

“You don’t need any other statistics than that. That is the story of the game in a nutshell. They were much more economical with the chances that they created.

“The sending off didn’t help us but we would have done well to have got a draw. They got their second goal which was maybe inevitable when you are throwing caution to the wind trying to get that winning score.”

Mayo Wins

Mayo brushed aside a poor Galway team in Sunday’s Connacht SFC semifinal in Castlebar, but manager James Horan expects Roscommon to be favorites for the provincial decider on July 17 in Hyde Park.

Horan’s team were full value for their 1-12 to 1-6 win over Galway, but their boss was downplaying their dominance afterwards.

“Roscommon are one of the form teams, they have been doing very well over the last few years and they will be favorites,” insisted Horan.

“We played well in the second half today. We got a return on possession and got quite a few scores. We had dominated possession in the first half but we kicked numerous wides and that put us under pressure and Galway got a late goal.”
Mayo survived a late revival from the home team away to London last time out and that stood to them on Sunday.

“We had a scare in London -- you saw London yesterday and they are no flash in the pan --- but we used the lessons we got over there and I think it did sharpen us up and help us today,” added Horan.

Galway manager Tomás Ó Flatharta must revitalize his shell-shocked side for the All-Ireland qualifier clash with Meath on Saturday, July 9 after the dismal defeat to Mayo.

“Obviously when you lose a game it is very disappointing,” said Ó Flatharta. “In the first half we were four points ahead at halftime.”

London Wins

London scored their first championship win since 1977 when they saw off Fermanagh in the All-Ireland qualifiers at Ruislip on Saturday, and manager Paul Coggins described the win as “amazing.”

Coggins’ side now host Waterford in the second round of the qualifiers, with the manager intent on another big performance from his team.

“We believed in ourselves against Fermanagh and we knew we had a big chance if we performed like we did against Mayo when we were beaten in extra time in the Connacht Championship,” said Coggins.

“We have inundated with messages of congratulations from all over Ireland and I would like to thank all the well wishers.

“There are feelings of great elation and happiness. We worked very hard to achieve something and we achieved it. We’ve a great bunch of players and they put everything in there, absolutely everything.”

Fermanagh manager John O’Neill had no excuses.  “It was a bad day at the office for us. London were the better team all over the pitch and we hadn’t enough guys to step up to the mark. London took their chances and we were probably naïve,” O’Neill said.

“London’s hunger was phenomenal. We didn’t match it. Good luck to them; they’ll give whoever they meet in the next round plenty of trouble.”