Sligo's Andrew Kilcullen scores late Christy Ring Cup winner to break Tyrone hearts
Christy Ring Cup: Tyrone 1-16 Sligo 0-20
Tyrone suffered agony deep into stoppage time as Andrew Kilcullen’s eighth point gave Sligo a slender victory in a Pairc Colmcille thriller as they got their Christy Ring Cup challenge back on track.
The Red Hands ultimately paid the price for a sluggish first half display in Carrickmore, when they allowed their opponents to dictate the tempo of the contest.
But they fought back from seven points behind to go level with a 70th-minute Chris Kearns goal, but there was still time for the Connacht men to carve out the win and condemn Tyrone to a first defeat of the campaign.
Sligo raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead by the 12th minute with Joe McHugh (0-2), Thomas Cawley and Ronan Molloy on target.
The Red Hands struggled to get to the pace of the game, falling behind by 0-10 to 0-3 as Thomas Cawley shot his second score.
But they finished the first half strongly, with three Sean Duffin points and a Lorcan Devlin effort, to cut the deficit to three at the break.
The Yeatsmen started the second half strongly, with Eddie O’Donaghue and Conor Griffin hitting the target, before Aidy Kelly, Conor Grogan and Duffin responded for Tyrone.
Conor Hanniffy restored Sligo’s seven-point cushion, but again the home side rallied, with Duffin sending over a string of frees.
Eoin Comerford opened out a three-point lead in the closing stages, but Kearns sent a low shot to the net to tie it up, and in stoppage tie, Kilcullen and Duffin traded scores, with the former hitting the winner from a free.
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 Hannifffy (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).
Referee: C McDonald (Antrim)